Agriculture leads the economy in Saskatchewan, and with the next provincial election slated for October 26, farmers are keen to know each party’s agricultural platform.
Todd Lewis, president of Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) and farmer south of Regina, joined Shaun Haney recently to talk about the organization’s concerns for provincial policies and how farmers might be treated by each party.
“Provincial policies really matter, and how the province treats agriculture really makes a difference to the bottom line,” says Lewis. One example is the impact of clear drainage and water management policy, especially with the large amount of agricultural land in Saskatchewan, and the variability in drainage issues that occurred this year throughout the province.
“There’s never a better time to talk about policy around agriculture than right during an election campaign,” says Lewis. “I think it’s important that we get all parties to talk about the policies, and drainage is one example, it’s a great time to get it within parties’ platforms — it’s something to work on in the next mandate.”
Another issue APAS wants to bring up is business risk management programming. Having a provincial representative present at the next federal/provincial planning meeting will progress the improvements to Agri-Stability, Agri-Invest, and to crop insurance programming. Tying into this is trade and export issues at the federal level, and how those hits get passed on to farmers.
Prior to the election, APAS will be partnering with the Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Association to host a Growing Agriculture: 2020 Provincial Election Forum, hosted by Haney, as a chance for farmers and ranchers to discuss their top-of-mind issues with the provincial election candidates.
Hear the full conversation for more from Lewis, including how he thinks the vote will turn out, how agriculture will be the economic recovery leader coming out of COVID-19, and how Saskatchewan leads the way in carbon sequestration.