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Agriculture This Week: Does a proclamation make people think?

Native prairie is a grassland ecosystem that is one of the most diverse systems on earth.
Cows on pasture.

YORKTON - Governments dole out weekly proclamations like business cards, with seemingly everything getting one. 

So it becomes increasingly a case of lost noise in our world, as modern society never seems to have the patience to investigate things to determine what is truly important, and what is merely chaff, in a world where our collective thoughts are most-influence by the latest social media meme. 

We have the incredible tool of the knowledge of much of the world at our fingertips – well if you can ever figure out all the ‘apps’ on your cell phone – but we seem to lack the patience to investigate to learn. 

So when the Government of Saskatchewan proclaimed June 19 to 25, as Native Prairie Appreciation Week did most of us even know, and if you did happen to see that the week was being marked did we delve into why it was important? 

Granted, it’s not easy keeping track of ‘weeks’ and causes. The email inbox has them piling up on an almost weekly basis, but in this case why concern over native prairie. 

"Saskatchewan's prairie landscape is part of what makes our province so unique," Environment Minister Dana Skoropad said in a government release. "This week emphasizes the importance of recognizing our native prairie for its benefits to not only people, but as a habitat for many species that call Saskatchewan home." 

On some scientific level it is the idea that native prairie makes Saskatchewan unique, but interview 100 people on the street across this province and ask them what makes their home unique I would suggest it’s a pretty sure bet native prairie is not among the answers. 

Equally, even recognizing native prairie versus a common pasture for cattle, or a field gone wild from lack of cultivation, would be beyond most of us.

Of course, native prairie is a grassland ecosystem that is one of the most diverse systems on earth, according to the aforementioned release. 

“Native prairie ecosystems are some of the most at-risk ecosystems in the world. Native Prairie Appreciation Week is an opportunity to draw attention to the need to conserve these important areas,” it stated.

"We recognize the importance of having a healthy and sustainable native prairie from an agricultural, economic, and ecological perspective," Agriculture Minister David Marit said in the release. "Our producers know that sustainable grazing management of native pastures supports biodiversity on these ecologically important lands, sustainable growth in production of their operations, and will maintain this ecosystem for generations to come." 

While the agriculture department might recognize the importance, in our world it’s becoming ever more critical you find a way to educate the populace on why, because they vote on who controls the purse strings to fund things – including programs to help preserve native prairie.

And therein lies the biggest question, how do you catch the attention of people in a meaningful way these days, to scratch just a few keystrokes deeper into something to learn a bit more than a government release proclamation?

Hopefully a few of you will Google native prairies and begin that process today.

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