Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – The Canadian government is allocating $219 million to assist farmers and ranchers grappling with the devastating effects of drought conditions and raging wildfires.

Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, says the funds will support livestock producers in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. It will provide relief and resources to help farmers recover from the extreme weather conditions.

Prolonged drought conditions and relentless wildfires severely impacted the agriculture sector in Western Canada this growing season.

Farmers in Western Canada will also have access to interim payments through AgriStability, one of the BRM programs under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership. It protects Canadian producers against large declines in farming income due to production loss, increased costs, and market conditions.

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RJ Sigurdson, Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation, says they are glad the federal government agreed to a joint AgriRecovery response.

“The combined funding will help protect producers’ livelihoods while they continue to put food on tables around the world,” Sigurdson said.

David Marit, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister, echoed that sentiment, adding that the livestock sector is a significant contributor to the Saskatchewan economy.

“The program will provide some financial relief to livestock producers, helping them to maintain the breeding herd by providing funding to address extraordinary costs caused by the drought,” Marit said.

Pam Alexis, B.C. Minister of Agriculture and Food says this will be a welcome relief to the farmers and ranchers in her province who have had to deal with unprecedented drought and wildfire.

“AgriRecovery is another way we are taking action to protect the livelihoods of our province’s food producers, helping them return to their land, while supporting local food security and our local economies,” Alexis said.

Farmers facing the stress and uncertainty of providing for their families because of the drought and wildfires are also urged to reach out for support. The Do More Ag Foundation and AgKnow have multiple resources available for those struggling with mental health challenges.