Into the Great Wide Open – Saskatchewan!

There is nothing like a drive through the prairies to gain an appreciation of the shear size of Canada. On March 10th, we loaded up our mini van for the 700km trip from Winnipeg, Manitoba  to Moose JawP1080670, Saskatchewan for the second leg of our Canadian Nuffield experience.  It was nice to slow the pace somewhat and experience some real Canadian culture.  We stopped for lunch in Portage le Prairie with Nuffield Scholar Brent Wright and a couple of keen young farmers.   Thanks to Brent for arranging tickets to the Brandon Wheat Kings vs. Saskatoon Blades hockey game – it was great fun explaining the rules to our Aussie friends.  Their typical sports of choice are cricket and Aussie Rules Football, or as they call it, ‘footie’.  After a night in Brandon, we finished the drive Sunday morning.

The second Canadian cultural experience was CURLING!  Thanks to Kelvin and Shelley Meadows, we had a great Sunday afternoon learning to curl.  We had a few crashes and a lot of laughs.

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Along our theme of innovation, the next two days were filled with meetings with farmers and agribusinesses involved in Saskatchewan agriculture.  We learned about carbon credit trading, crop insurance, financing agricultural expansion, improving perceptions of farming among the public, impact of trade, farm equipment manufacturing, and value added processing of prairie crops.

It was great to spend some driving time with our group to discuss the experiences we’ve had and our perspectives on what we’ve heard.

Facts about Canadian Agriculture:

  • 167 million acres are farmed by 229,373 farms
  • The vast majority is owned and operated by independent farmers with an average age of 52.
  • Land prices are increasing at a pace higher than any other time in history (7% in the last six months)
  • 50% of our agricultural exports go to the US.
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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Carie on March 15, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Wow. Sounds like a wonderful experience so far. Can’t wait to hear about California!
    Carie

    Reply

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