Actively engaging the Government of Canada on the priorities of the Canadian beef industry is a key focus of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). In early December 2021, Bob Lowe, CCA Past -President) and Carley Henniger, President of the Young Cattlemen’s Council (YCC) had the unique opportunity to interview the Federal Agriculture Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, the Conservative Agriculture Critic, John Barlow, and the NDP Agriculture Critic, Alistair MacGregor to find out how their parties’ priorities support and align with the Canadian beef sector.
In Part Two of the series, we will explore the role of agriculture and specifically cattle production in the fight against climate change. Part One of this series was featured in the April issue of ABP Magazine.
How do you see yourself partnering with Canadian beef farmers and ranchers as a key part of the solution to fighting climate change?
We have started a good collaboration for years. Investing in research and innovation, in Canada’s certified beef program is very important. Sometimes I feel consumers don’t realize how important [sustainable agriculture] is, because your land and your animals are what are most important to you. So, supporting you in different ways with different programs to give you incentives to adopt best practices, have access to new technologies, to bring young farmers into the sector. You are the first ones to feel the impact of climate change.
We can’t overlook that the beef industry is such an integral part of our economy. That always must be front of mind, that there is an economic element to this, when we talk about climate change. The basis of that is having a better understanding of where agriculture is and the role you play in environmental protection and stewardship.
I was fortunate to get a firsthand education on how Canada’s beef farmers are interacting with the environment. In summer of 2020 I was invited to the Okanagan region and visited two ranches that won sustainability awards. I think really understanding rotational grazing techniques, the huge carbon sequestration potential that Canada’s grasslands have will lead to a better conversation on how we conserve and protect those areas. It also shows that having cattle farming in those areas will have a beneficial effect is beneficial and will preserve the grasslands. It’s about time the policy makers stand up and listen.
Note, the responses were transcribed and have been shortened for length. If you are interested in watching full interviews, please visit the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association’s YouTube channel, which also houses the French interview with Bloc Quebecois Agriculture Critic, Yves Perron.
This article was first published in Volume 2 Issue 3 of ABP Magazine (July 2022). We encourage you to follow along in this three-part series, and watch for more digital content from the magazine on ABP Daily.
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