Ag Minister MacAulay drives combine on Saskatchewan farm

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Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay took the opportunity to drive a combine while visiting a Saskatchewan grain farm between Regina and Saskatoon this week.

MacAulay and some of his staff dropped in at Stone Farms near Davidson, Sask., for about an hour and half on Tuesday.

“I’ve been inviting the minister of the portfolio to come and see what we’re all about. I’ve been working on that for a while…and we got the visit,” says Rob Stone, recapping MacAulay’s visit in the interview below. “We had a great chat about lots of stuff.”

Stone, who also serves as a director for Sask Wheat, says they set up several stations on the farm to showcase the technology and practices that are used by Prairie grain producers.

“We went through the technology of what our seeding operation looks like. We had the whole drill set up, folded out, and went through all of the sectional and the variable and all the gadgets and goodies that we can do — the efficiencies of the operation and how that’s environmentally beneficial,” says Stone.

At another point in the visit, MacAulay climbed up into the cab and drove Stone’s John Deere S780 combine.

(photos courtesy Sask Wheat)

While they kept the conversation light, Stone says he made a point of speaking with the minister about several specific issues, including the federal government’s plans for its sustainable ag strategy and the fertilizer emissions reduction policy, as well as federal priorities in agriculture research.

“One of the things that that I heard him say was that if we limit the way that people can produce, that’s going to limit your economic opportunities. And that’s just not good,” says Stone. “It’s obviously, within an environmental constraint of doing the right thing, but he was able to see that we are involved in doing the right things already. That was the discussion that we had — how do we get to this next percentage when we’re doing a lot of the good stuff already? So I think we gave them lots to think about and lots to discuss in the future.”

MacAulay’s visit to Saskatchewan and Alberta this week marked his second trip to the West since replacing Marie-Claude Bibeau and returning to the agriculture post in cabinet on July 26.

While in Saskatchewan, the minister also delivered remarks to North American delegates at the Tri-National Agricultural Accord in Saskatoon, met with Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit, met with the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, and announced up to $4 million for agronomic research through the Western Grains Research Foundation.

He then travelled to Calgary where he met with Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR), toured biofuel company SixRing Inc., and spoke at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference.

Listen to Rob Stone discuss Lawrence MacAulay’s visit to his farm on RealAg Radio’s as part of Thursday’s Farmer Rapid Fire show:

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