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David Marit Talks Agriculture Month in Saskatchewan

A tradition since 1999, the Saskatchewan government has once again proclaimed October as Agriculture Month in the province.

With this year's theme of "#CelebrateAg", they're hoping to shine a spotlight on the producers themselves; inviting producers in the province to tell their own stories on social media about how food is produced and to celebrate agricultures role in both the Saskatchewan and the world's economy.

David Marit is the Minister of Agriculture with the government of Saskatchewan.

"To really tell the story of the importance of agriculture here in Saskatchewan but also to build public trust. And I think that's first and foremost so that the public understand that the food they're eating is grown in a very healthy, sustainable, environmentally friendly manner."

That trust is something that Marit fears might be suffering from a generation gap, as fewer family farms get passed down from generation to generation. Which, for him, makes it even more important to have that understanding of "farm to table" that is slowly being lost.

"We do it in other ways as well, building public trust. We have Ag in the classroom which we are a big promoter of that. We also promote 4-H with youth development as well. It's important that we really recognize the month and Ag awareness."

With much of the news always seemed focused on non-renewable energy, it's easy to think that agriculture had silently slipped into second place insofar as economic drivers of the economy go behind oil and gas and other newly announced technologies. But the numbers don't lie, and agriculture remains the number one Saskatchewan money maker, and Marit says that that is for one simple all-encompassing reason:

"It's part of every community. There's a lot of communities that don't have resources or don't have anything else. But the one thing they do have is ag. There might be some up north, but even forestry is part of that as well."

That kind of reach in a province, for Marit, binds everything both rural and urban, including spin-off industries like fertilizer, Canola crush plants, welders and other specialties that orbit around agriculture in both small towns and larger urban centres.

Being the breadbasket of the world comes with spin-offs.

"If you look in that basket, everything that people put on their plate is grown here or produced here in this province. Whether it's bread, meat, milk, cheeses. There are all kinds of things that are grown here or produced here."

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