Tag Archives: livestock producers

Saskatchewan Community Pastures Program to End

27 Mar

The Leader-Post covers the issue here.

The plan, announced in the provincial budget, is to phase the provincial pasture program out over three years, with 2017 being the last year it fully operates. The program includes 51 pastures operating on 780,000 acres of land.

PPPI Co-Chair Trevor Herriot was interviewed by the CBC on the potential impacts on prairie conservation.

When you privatize public conservation land, you’re severely weakening your ability to create and enforce laws, policies, regulations, if you want to meet prairie for sustainable grassland management. There’s a lot of public interest in these lands

There will be consultations made for the future management of the land with the public, stakeholders, First Nations and Metis communities. An online survey will be available online at www.saskatchewan.ca/pastures from March 27 to May 8.


Pasture Patrons Meeting Updates

24 Jan

News is pouring in about the meeting of pasture patrons in Saskatoon on January 23.

Metro News: Saskatchewan pasture patrons seek to negotiate solutions for PFRA lands.

Saskatoonhomepage.ca: Pasture patrons form association.

CKOM News Talk: Demise of grazing land program presents challenges, opportunities.

A letter in the Star-Phoenix: Changing Canada.

News Release: All-Patrons Meeting

16 Jan

PFRA Community Pasture patrons to meet at Saskatoon

(Colonsay, SK)  January 14/13 – PFRA Community Pasture patron representatives from across Saskatchewan will attend an all-pastures meeting at Saskatoon on January 23rd to discuss transition of the PFRA and proposed sale or lease of these lands by the Province of Saskatchewan to individual patron groups.

Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz announced in April that Ottawa’s management of the PFRA pasture system will end in 2018, with transfer of the first ten pastures to the Province of Saskatchewan scheduled for 2013. Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture Lyle Stewart stated in August that the PFRA pastures would be sold at market value with a preference to individual patron groups. Stewart has since indicated some pastures are not suitable for purchase and that his department will also entertain proposals to lease.

Government plans to disband the PFRA and sell/lease the pastures have raised widespread concern among participants in the current, federally managed grazing system. Rising land values have put market value purchase beyond the means of most PFRA patrons.  The financial risk of individual pastures is much higher than the risk for the system as a whole. Valuation of improvements is uncertain at this time.  Patrons are also concerned for loss of the professional grazing management provided by PFRA pasture managers and riders, and for the ecological well being of the pastures.  The PFRA pasture system has operated successfully for more than 75 years.

These pastures are important resources to the wider community in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, widely used for hunting and fishing. In addition to grazing, ecological and recreation values, many PFRA pastures also contain significant mineral resources.  This network of pastures is one of the largest reserves of remaining native prairie in North America and home to a significant number of endangered species. As well, numerous Saskatchewan First Nations have indicated their interest in the PFRA pastures as a means of resolving outstanding Treaty Land Entitlement and Specific Land Claims with the federal and Saskatchewan governments.   .

Confirmed speakers at the Saskatoon all-patrons meeting will include:

  • Lyle Stewart, Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture
  • Darrell Crabbe, Executive Director, Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation
  • Barry Lowe, Chair, Steering Committee for Association of Manitoba Community Pastures
  •  Mert Taylor, Agriculture |Union-PSAC (PFRA managers and riders)
  • Brad Michael and Krystine Lamotte, Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN)

Established in 1937, the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) Community Pastures system was created in response to severe drought and soil erosion during the Great Depression. The PFRA operates 87 community pastures containing approximately 2.3 million acres across western Canada, of which 62 pastures containing 1.78 million acres are in Saskatchewan. Approximately 2500 Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers representing some 200,000 beef cows rely on the PFRA and its services.

The all-patrons meeting will take place at Sutherland Hall, 1112 Central Avenue in Saskatoon on January 23/13. Doors open at 8:30 AM and the meeting will begin at 9:30 AM. The morning and noon sessions are open to the media. The afternoon session, beginning at 1:00 PM, is a closed meeting and will not be open to the media.

For more information please contact the all-patrons meeting steering committee:

  • Joanne Brochu – home: (306) 255-2046, cell (306) 255-7602
  • Ian McCreary – home: (306) 567 -2099, cell (306) 561-7838
  • Bryce Burnett – home: (306) 773-7065

Cowboy Poetry from a Patron

14 Jan


The government reckoned it’s time to hang the PFRA pastures.  It’s an ideological thing.
We’ll throw it over to Saskatchewan – let those cowboys swing.
Now the Saskatchewan party’s got a hot potato, it’s a political fiasco.
They don’t want it, how to get rid of it, what’s it worth, who in the hell would know.
The feds have set aside Agriculture, Enbridge is a much better partner in bed.
Let those cowboys hang, they don’t care – they’ll feed ‘em ecoli instead.
The province agrees, PFRA don’t matter, Agriculture just ain’t their mission.
They’ll spend the money on a football stadium and with it replace Agribition.
They want all the patrons to form individual Associations, co-ops, companies and such.
Patrons will pay more, lose the equity they have and maintain unity – not very much.
Then the First Nations came forth, opportunity for fulfilment of treaty rights to the letter.
For sure politicians wouldn’t be here if their initial immigration policy had of been better.
Conservation, environment and wildlife will all be overturned with a tandem disc.
Only thing for sure is our pasture managers have become the next species at risk.
The government bureaucracy is in a pickle, no one seems to know why or how.
All patrons know – they’ll sure be paying more when this land is grazed by a cow.
Dealing with government levels has become a quagmire, makes one wonder if they’re sober.
Next time you gaze into the blank eyes of your MLA – you might as well just bend over.

Bryce Burnett

A Pasture Patron Writes…

10 Jan

The following article was sent to us from a Swift Current pasture patron.

The federal government is in the process of washing their hands of PFRA community pastures.  The ideals that structured community pastures for ranchers, conservationists and the public are being ignored because of political ideology rather than the needs of the cattle INDUSTRY.  I can understand the federal government’s view as it is evident they have no intent of sustaining the current family farm operation in western Canada.  However it is time for the Saskatchewan Party government to stand on their own two feet and stick up for the cattle, ranching and grazing INDUSTRY.  Agriculture is and will remain the basic INDUSTRY in Saskatchewan as the majority of the population in Saskatchewan  is directly or indirectly affected by the sustainability of this INDUSTRY Agriculture – after all we all eat.

Let us not dismantle the structure of the PFRA community pasture system for the sake of ideology.  The majority (we must not forget we live in a Democracy) of patrons, conservationists and those affected by these fragile lands realize the benefits, production and profitability of the present structure, now and into future generations.  This is an opportunity for this provincial government to step up and keep the lands under one umbrella;  it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel.   Forming new individual identities for each pasture will only cost patrons more money which they cannot afford and is needless, for less benefits and a significant loss to environmentalists, hunters and wild life and the Agriculture INDUSTRY.

The domain of the PFRA system in many instances was brought into the fold because of the fragile structure of the land.  These lands have been successfully brought into production and maintained viable by the proficient stewardship of trained and accomplished managers – stewards of the land and extremely important citizens contributing financially, socially and structurally to our communities.  The existing system has given many young producers an opportunity to grow their livestock operations in a positive direction, allowing them a valuable start into the Agriculture INDUSTRY.  Patrons cannot afford to purchase lands and assets which they have already contributed to and in most cases already paid for with pasture grazing fees.

It is time for patrons to come together and let our provincial government grasp the benefits of an existing system for the sustainability of our Agriculture cattle INDUSTRY.

–       Bryce Burnett – community pasture patron – Swift Current

Public Pastures – Public Interest: Who We Are

3 Jan

Public Pastures—Public Interest (PPPI) draws together rural and urban Canadians who share an interest in conserving the great public grasslands of Saskatchewan.

PPPI is part of a growing community of urban and rural people in the province—farmers, ranchers, First Nations people, scientists, hunters, naturalists, and prairie enthusiasts of all kinds—who believe that the security of these pasture lands for livestock producers, conservation values and the people of Saskatchewan can best be served by the province retaining ownership of these last large vestiges of native grasslands.

A new page now explains who we are, what our aims are, and how you can get involved with us!