Op-ed: Food Day Canada a time to celebrate farmers’ commitment to the environment

Food Day Canada is Saturday, Aug. 1. It’s a chance to celebrate the many and diverse hands and talents involved in feeding Canadians. Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) would like to take this opportunity to thank the farming community for the work they do providing food for us all... and so much more.

DUC recognizes that so many Saskatchewan farm families provide more than food to society. Many farms in Saskatchewan have areas that are left natural, where biodiversity flourishes, and where benefits to society, like clean air and clean water, are derived. These vestiges of natural habitat within croplands sustain pollinators and other wildlife. They are one facet of a greater picture of sustainable farming practices, something Saskatchewan producers can hang their hat on, improving public trust, and opening up doors to discerning export markets.

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Food Day Canada was born out of the sanctions placed on Canadian beef producers due to BSE, or mad cow disease, in 2003. DUC stood with the beef sector then, and we continue to stand with beef producers today. We recognize the tremendous habitat value of Saskatchewan ranchlands, and that cows, ducks, and many other species require the same things: water and grass. Natural landscapes for ranching, with accompanying wetlands and grasslands, enable livestock and wildlife to thrive side by side. This is well worth celebrating, and one of many reasons to support beef producers here and across the country.

On Food Day Canada, we encourage you to take time to reflect on where your food comes from. Do you know where that steak, chicken, or pork you had for supper last night was raised? In Saskatchewan, Canada, or beyond? Ask your local butcher or restaurant where they source their meat. The more we request local sourcing of ingredients, the more Saskatchewan producers are likely to benefit. And that benefits us all.

DUC has long worked with the ranching and farming communities in Saskatchewan, and offers various programs for farm families. For more information on our programming, contact DUC at 306-569-0424.

Michael Champion, PAg– Head of Industry and Government RelationsDucks Unlimited Canada –SaskatchewanDucks Unlimited Canada

(DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. www.ducks.ca

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