Agriculture-based businesses contribute significantly to Manitoba’s urban economies and demonstrate the valuable, long-standing relationship that exists with the province’s agriculture industry, Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers said today at the sixth annual Agriculture Awareness Day event held at the Canadian International Grains Institute (CIGI).

The Honourable Stan Struthers

The Honourable Stan Struthers

“Winnipeg is a strong urban centre supported by a firm base of agricultural-related companies, ranging from farm-equipment manufacturers to food processors and grocery stores, and from grain companies and railways to international market-development organizations like the Canadian International Grains Institute,” said the minister.  “Today we recognize the role that farmers and agriculture play in driving our urban and rural economies and their impact on the lives of all Manitobans.” 

The minister noted that one in nine jobs in Manitoba is related to the agriculture industry. 

“Manitoba’s agriculture generates tremendous value for this province through a positive balance of trade in commodities and food related products,” said Earl Geddes, CIGI’s executive director.  “The programming that occurs at CIGI builds on the value and the market opportunity for many of Manitoba’s crops and brings thousands of international customers to Winnipeg on an annual basis.” 

“Throughout our city’s history, the agricultural sector has always been one of the backbones of the local economy and the chamber is pleased to be able to recognize those businesses that continue to strengthen this industry,” said Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Dave Angus. 

This year’s event was held at the Canadian International Grains Institute and included tours of CIGI’s technical facilities. Planned by Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, in co-operation with CIGI and the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, today’s event offered an opportunity for farmers, agriculture and food industry leaders and urban business leaders to network and discover business opportunities, Struthers said. 

Agricultural Awareness Day was created in 2004 as a result of a unanimous resolution of the Manitoba legislative assembly to recognize the critical role of producers in providing safe, plentiful and affordable food products and a wide diversity of products and services the public uses everyday. The third Tuesday in March is now set aside for this celebration.