Nearly 10,000 randomly selected farms and ranches across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba will have received an invitation to participate in a Citizens Assembly on Agriculture. From those who apply, 36 lottery-selected producers will gather to work on climate and sustainability solutions for agriculture.
Producers can register for the process even if they didn’t receive an invitation letter.
It’s billed as a first of its kind forum on the future of agriculture and it’s a project of Farmers for Climate Solutions. One of the co-leads for the forum is Gordon Bacon, who for many years served as president of Pulse Canada. The other co-lead is Ian McCreary, a farmer from Bladworth, Saskatchewan who is involved with Farmers for Climate Solutions. McCreary notes that he and Gord Bacon look at the issues from somewhat different perspectives.
“Gordon spent 20 years of his life listening to customers and comes to this primarily thinking about the pressures he is hearing about where customers are going to need us to be in a few years and I’ve been aware of that discussion, but probably more because of my international work I’ve seen some of the impacts of climate change on peoples around the world and I’m worried about making sure we’re ready to do our part.” McCreary said.
Interested producers are encouraged to register no matter their views on the topic. The deadline to register is November 28. The 36 people randomly chosen to participate will have three sessions of two and a half days each at resort locations in each Prairie Province. The meetings are in January, February and March. Organizers say all reasonable travel, lodging and meal expenses will be covered. To get more information and to register, go to www.prairie-ag-forum.ca. The recommendations coming out of the Citizens Assembly on Agriculture will be captured in a summary report that will be circulated with government and industry.