Following a meeting between various agricultural producers and the federal government, a new direction has been laid out for the 2023-2028 Agricultural Policy Framework.

That direction is largely responsible for the federal government's role in defining what goes on in agriculture, whether that be through what programs are funded to what laws are passed.

The meeting resulted in what is being called the Guelph Statement, named after the meeting place of Guelph Ontario.

Included in the statement are five priorities:

Tackling climate change and environmental protection continued and targeted investments in science, research, and innovation supporting sustainable agriculture and economic growth building sector capacity and growth-enhancing resiliency to anticipate, mitigate and respond to risks

These priorities will be the basis for agricultural policy over the 2023-2028 period.

One of the speakers at the event held in Guelph was Todd Lewis, the President of APAS, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan.

He spoke as a member of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, focusing on how farmers across western Canada had been important pieces in the fight against climate change.

"The technology that has been developed here is climate-friendly, carbon-friendly, and we need to be recognized for that," said Lewis, "Canadian farmers, and especially Western Canadian farmers, have been down this road for decades now and in a lot of cases we're world leaders in it and are ahead of a lot of the world."

Lewis also brought forward that greater emphasis needs to be put on risk management programs, a thought that is very recent in the heads of many farmers after a devastating drought swept across the prairies this year.

Agricultural representatives and the federal government will be meeting again in June, to discuss the exact budget of many of the programs going into the Agricultural Policy Framework.

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