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The Honourable Gerry Ritz among 2018 nominees to be inducted into Canada’s Agricultural Hall of Fame

Calgary, Alberta  –The Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), Alberta Barley and the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) congratulate the Honourable Gerry Ritz on his induction into Canada’s Agricultural Hall of Fame. The Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame Association honours and commemorates Canadians for their contributions to Canada’s agriculture and agri-food sector. The association announced Ritz’s nomination, along with four other nominees yesterday.

The 2018 Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be held in Toronto, Ontario as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on Sunday, November 4, 2018.

Throughout his highly respected 20-year political career, Ritz served as an MP in Saskatchewan for the Battlefords-Lloydminster riding, and was further appointed as federal agriculture minister where he served from 2007 to 2015. During this period Ritz achieved a long-list of worthy accomplishments that contributed to the advancement of the Canadian agriculture industry and developed Canada’s agri-food sector into a dynamic force on a global scale.

“Minister Ritz’s contributions paved the way to a new era in Canada’s grain industry,” said Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley Chair. Kevin Bender, AWC Chair added, “Whether it was his efforts in gaining marketing freedom for western Canadian wheat and barley farmers or tirelessly working to expand global market access, Minister Ritz championed key files and put farmers first.”

Understanding the importance of global markets to farmers who produce world-class beef and cattle, Ritz travelled extensively to open, restore or expand market access for Canada’s high-quality cattle and beef products using a science-based approach to trade.

For the beef and hog sectors, Ritz led the battle against U.S. Mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL). He stood ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with beef producers as Canada pursued all options available to resolve the dispute, including the establishment of a World Trade Organization compliance panel on COOL.

“Minister Ritz’s open and genuine collaboration with the beef industry, asking advice on where he could boost advocacy efforts or outreach efforts on difficult issues, effected positive results that remain appreciated by the industry today,” said CCA President David Haywood-Farmer.

As a joint nomination effort, AWC, Alberta Barley and the CCA would like to thank the numerous groups who submitted letters of support for Minister Ritz’s nomination. The commissions and CCA congratulate the other 2018 inductees into the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame: Ted Bilyea, Peter Dhillon, Wilf Keller, and Larry Martin. Thank you for your contributions to agriculture.

Source : Alberta Wheat & Barley Commissions

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