Abbotsford’s EcoDairy played host to federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay Tuesday afternoon.
MacAulay toured the EcoDairy facilities alongside local MP Jati Sidhu (Mission—Matsqui—Fraser Canyon) to finish off of the minister’s “Growing Canadian Agriculture” tour across Canada. The tour had MacAulay meeting farmers and agri-business owners “to hear their ideas on how to capture growth opportunities in the sector.”
“The agricultural sector in itself is pretty positive. The future’s good, the prospects of more markets is strong and, of course, in this country we certainly have the best farmers and ranchers in the world in Canada,” MacAulay said.
“They can produce the product, and it’s our job, Jati and I and other government members, to make sure we see the product is moved. Not only in this country, but around the world.”
Also on the tour were local youth from the 4-H Club.
“It’s quite an education in itself. Younger people come here, and even older people come here, and find out that milk doesn’t come out of a bottle and meat out of a showcase. They actually show how it happens,” MacAulay said following the tour.
“Basically a new way of feeding animals and the process of milking is shown to adults and young people. I think it’s such a show for many people in the area.”
MacAulay also spoke to concerns among farmers attempting to contend with climate change and its effects on their crops and livestock.
“Quite honestly, everywhere you go, people indicate that the weather’s changing. It’s changing rapidly. Yes, I hear that, and they want to make sure, of course, as far as we know it’s the only place that humans can live. We want to make sure we protect the environment here and we will do that.”
Sidhu noted that “the economy and environment go together,” and that the federal government has signed onto the Paris Accord to attempt to minimize carbon emissions and climate change.