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If you eat, you are part of agriculture: Manitoba MP

Robert Sopuck pens guest column

By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
Farms.com

Robert Sopuck, the Conservative MP for Dauphin-Swan River-Neepawa in Manitoba, didn’t mince words in his appearance as a guest columnist which appeared in some Sun newspapers across Canada.

“If you eat, you are part of agriculture,” he writes in his piece titled Eat beef if you care about the environment.’

Sopuck outlines that what consumers eat impacts what farmers produce, and that the crops and livestock farmers produce impact the environment because “each food production system has differing effects on soil, water and wildlife.”

Robert Sopuck

Of all the food production methods, Sopuck outlines beef cattle farming as the best out there.

“Cows efficiently convert grass and hay to people food,” he wrote. “And over a cow’s lifespan it will eat far more grass and hay than grain.”

The process is important because hay and grass are perennial plants which among other things, creates a blanket to reduce soil erosion.

Sopuck addresses the critics who believe cattle ranching should be shut down due to methane production and other issues.

“To be blunt, cattle create an economic incentive to conserve, manage and create diverse and productive grasslands. Those great, and seemingly boring, vistas of native prairie in Saskatchewan and Alberta represent a treasure trove of wildlife and biodiversity. And is it still in existence because of ranchers.”

He also addresses those who think people shouldn’t eat meat altogether.

“The problem with that argument is that not all hectares are created equal,” he writes.

He outlines that millions of hectares will require higher levels of inputs to make them viable for crop production as soils continue to degrade.

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