The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM), along with member RMs, is concerned for the future of livestock producers operating in the province, with the industry continuing to see issues such as veterinarian shortages, low profitability, support on premiums, and year-over-year drought.
“Cattle producers have been struggling with feed concerns due to ongoing drought and it has taken its toll on the profitability of producers. Alongside the feed concern, young ranchers are struggling to get into the industry, or find sustainability with fluctuating prices and little to no risk management support,” says Ray Orb, President of SARM.
Saskatchewan ranchers are heading into one of the most important seasons, calving, and are concerned about the shortage of rural veterinarians. Livestock producers need the support of nearby veterinarians for the health and safety of their herds and the longevity of their stock. “Can we put incentives in place to attract veterinarians to consider opening clinics in our rural communities? Let’s start offering opportunities for youth entering the field to open clinics in our province. The lack of veterinarians is a chronic concern for producers who are being left to travel great distances to find animal aid, or enduring additional costs for mobile vet appointments, we just don’t have enough services for our livestock industry” says, Orb.
“The Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association (SCA) has been working with cattle producers to bring forward concerns to decision makers about the challenges that the industry has been facing and continues to face,” says SCA Board Chair Keith Day. “We are continuing to bring these issues forward by working with organizations like SARM and SSGA to ensure that the economic future of our industry is preserved. The agriculture sector is fundamental to the growth of Saskatchewan’s economy, and the livestock sector needs to be recognized for the outsized role it plays in protecting our environment while providing quality protein for a world facing a food crisis.”
“The last five years of drought has exposed some major cracks in the cattle business. The lack of business risk management tools, the lack of pricing transparency, and the rapid exit of aging producers threaten the very existence of the beef industry in Saskatchewan. Economics has sped the decline in cattle numbers, as well, the relative economic success in other sectors has turned the land from grass to annual crops, ensuring that the cows won’t return. While all indications point to better days ahead for producers who remain, the SSGA welcomes all industry partners to continue to work together to fix the problems that got us here so that when these situations arise the industry is more resilient and able to operate on the same footing as other commodity producers,” says Jeffrey Yorga, 1st Vice President Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association.
SARM, SCA, and SSGA are invested in finding solutions and immediate support for the ranchers that make up a large portion of rural Saskatchewan. We want to see producers grow and succeed and to do this they need support with better risk management programs, more rural vet clinics, irrigation, and consideration for a joint effort from our provincial and federal governments in cost-sharing premiums.
SARM, SCA, and SSGA continue to call for action in support of cattle producers and push for discussions with our provincial government, delegates, and producers at our upcoming convention on March 14-16th in Saskatoon.
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For interview requests please contact:
Corette Mihalcea, Communications Specialist, SARM
firstname.lastname@example.org or 306.761.3931
Rustie Dean, Media Liaison, SARM
Background: SARM is the independent association that represents its membership of rural municipal government in Saskatchewan and is the principal advocate in representing them before senior governments.
SARM’s 118th Annual Convention is March 14-16, 2023, at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon. Provincial news agencies are invited to join as representatives from rural Saskatchewan municipalities discuss and debate timely topics, elect officials, and hear the critical issues of Saskatchewan’s rural members.