By Rick Strankman, MLA Drumheller-Stettler
Thank a farmer.
June 8 recognized the people we count on for our daily bread. For more than seven decades Farmers’ Day has been recognized and celebrated in rural communities across the province and by our agricultural industry. Farmers’ Day was first established at the UFA’s annual convention in 1945. The co-operative passed a resolution to lobby the Alberta government to “declare the second Friday of June as a provincial holiday.” Although no longer a provincial holiday, the United Farmers of Alberta co-operative has chosen to continue to celebrate this day by acknowledging the hard work and contribution of Alberta’s farmers and Ranchers.
The business of farming and ranching is not an easy vocation by any stretch of the imagination. Commodity prices, non capped electrical prices, droughts, fires, and other weather-related issues are far beyond their control. What they also haven’t been able to control is the NDP government’s love for ideological-based legislation. Their crippling carbon tax severely hampers their ability to compete on provincial and international levels. Farmers and ranchers are not, as many people seem to believe, exempt from the carbon tax. Farmers are greatly impacted by the tax on everything, a tax the NDP government did not campaign on.
Costs continue to soar; expenses such as transportation costs go up for the trucks and trains that ship the grain, crops, and livestock to consumers around the world. Those costs will have to be absorbed by the producers or passed on to the consumer, leading to rises in food costs at grocery stores and restaurants.
The business of agriculture provides life’s necessities, including food, clothing, and shelter, and we should all be grateful for what farmers do. Farmers’ Day is a significant day to honour and celebrate those in the agricultural community, who work tirelessly throughout the year. Farming and ranching is not just an occupation, it’s a way of life for the people that dedicate themselves to this noble pursuit.
Canadian and American primary food production technologies are world leading. The new innovative developments in agriculture are using near space age technology. Global positioning technology allows precision placement of seed, fertilizer, chemicals and even water thru electronically controlled environmental monitoring systems.
Technological advancements using computer based programs allow modern farm managers remote operation and even allow crop growth sensing. Unfortunately many other countries aren’t blessed with this leading innovation but benefit by adopting some of the more affordable technology that is available today.
There’s a lot to be thankful for when it comes to how the agriculture industry makes our lives better. If you have access to a nutritious diet that promotes good health, thank a farmer. If you benefit from an economy that gets a significant contribution from agriculture, thank a farmer. If you wear any of the multitudes of high quality agricultural based textiles, thank a farmer. If you enjoy affordable fresh produce, thank a farmer.
If you ate today, you should thank a farmer.