Last month, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith named her new provincial cabinet, including a new Minister for Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation.
RJ Sigurdson, the MLA for Highwood, has been appointed to the position, with former ag minister Nate Horner moving to the finance portfolio.
RealAg Radio host Shaun Haney had the opportunity to meet with Minister Sigurdson at the Calgary Stampede, to discuss the new position, and as well, the Premier’s mandate letter that outlines the objectives and priorities for each minister.
Some of the highlights, says Minister Sigurdson, include the Agri-Processing Investment Tax Credit, the Feeder Associations Guarantee Program increase, and diversifying agriculture. (Story continues below player)
“Some of the things that actually really resonate, and I guess, really make me step back as well, is trying to find better pathways to continue generational farming here in the province, supporting that, and exploring opportunities,” he explains in the interview below.
Seeing as irrigation is staying in the title of the ministry, irrigation is going to continue to be a big part of the focus in Alberta, including the previously announced $933 million that is being put forward to modernization and expansion of irrigation. As Sigurdson explains, even in his first few weeks as minister, he saw what strength irrigation brings to the province right now.
“Irrigation in the province provides that stable yield, and stable quality, that a lot of companies are looking for when they’re looking to invest,” he says. “It builds an argument that we need to continue to not only support — but come up with a long term plan to — continue to grow the amount of irrigation acres we have in the province of Alberta.”