Country 105

Country 105


Agriculture Report

Positive Outlook on NAFTA

By Fadi Didi

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay says he's gotten a good reception at several US meetings.


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Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay says he's received a good reception at several U-S meetings to discuss the re-opening of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

MacAulay has just wrapped up meetings with the Pacific Northwest Economic Region summit and the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

NAFTA talks are scheduled to re-open next month with the U-S pushing for improved access for grain and dairy products.

MacAulay says farm trade between Canada and the U-S has almost quadrupled under NAFTA.


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The British Columbia Cattlemen's Association says wildfires have inflicted a terrible financial and emotional toll on its members.

Association manager Kevin Boon says wildfires that broke out earlier this month in B.C.'s Cariboo and Chilcotin regions are estimated to have charred about a thousand square kilometres of ranch land.

He says cattle, fences, feed and infrastructure have all been destroyed.

Boon expects financial losses for the association's nearly 12-hundred beef producers will top hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler wouldn't say Friday whether his province would ask for federal compensation for the P-E-D outbreak, or start its own ad-hoc program.

In a statement, Eichler did say the province has used its own staff and federal veterinarians to perform diagnostics and help pin down traffic routes that lower the risk of spreading the disease.

Speaking with reporters Friday, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said he's focused on containing the spread of the porcine virus in Manitoba.

MacAulay's office suggested the AgriRecovery program might be used to compensate farmers, but it generally can't accept applications until a situation has stabilized.

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A farm in Manitoba is hoping a new attraction will build on the farm fitness trend.

Three-Thirteen Farms near Anola is offering alpaca dancing classes.

Much like with goat yoga, participants don't actually cut a rug with the wooly animals, but they provide a fun backdrop to the fitness class.

Ann Patman says it's a great way to get some exercise and be around some friendly animals at the same time. 


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