On February 5 and 6, 2013, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture will host a summit in Regina to generate ideas on how to improve public perception of the agriculture industry and promote its benefits.
"Agriculture is a vital part of our province and will be essential to our future growth," Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said. "Our industry has a great story to tell and this summit will generate ideas on how to better tell that story and dispel misconceptions about agriculture."
Participants in the summit will include government representatives, industry leaders, producers, communicators, and other partners involved in agriculture. Discussions will include a scan of current agriculture awareness efforts, ways to better educate the public about agriculture and how to encourage people in the industry to tell their positive stories. The summit will result in a more co-ordinated, collaborative strategic plan going forward.
Saskatchewan is ideally suited to host this agriculture summit, with nearly half of Canada's arable farm land, 30 per cent of Canada's agriculture biotech industry, and the second largest beef cattle herd in the country. In addition, in 2011 Saskatchewan became Canada's top agri-food exporting province, with more than $10 billion worth of agri-food exports. The Saskatchewan Government has made agriculture awareness a priority by being the first provincial government to sign on to the Agriculture More Than Ever initiative.
"This province has become a hub of agricultural innovation and research and an economic leader, all due to the hard work of farmers and ranchers," Stewart said. "Saskatchewan is growing and agriculture contributes to a better quality of life for everyone. This summit will bring our industry together to help deliver that message."
The summit will be followed by annual updates for participants to share experiences, adjust messages and direction, note accomplishments and further discuss agriculture awareness.