SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Ava Smith, Scott Bampton, Elizabeth White, Glenn Rossman, Pat Romanski

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Harper Government Supports Livestock Traceability and International Marketing at Agribition

REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN -- (Marketwire) -- 11/19/12 -- The Harper Government has invested in Canadian Western Agribition to track the movement of all livestock entering and leaving the exhibition grounds as well as to promote Agribition in foreign markets, David Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board and Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills-Grasslands, announced today on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"Our Government's top priority remains the economy, and Canada's agriculture and agri-food industry plays an important role in creating jobs and keeping our economy strong," Anderson said. "These investments, totalling close to $250,000, will help enhance our traceability, animal health emergency management, and food safety systems, in addition to promoting our products in foreign markets, leading to increased profits for our farmers."

MP Anderson was attending the opening of Agribition's new cattle handling facility along with Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart and Regina Mayor Michael Fougere. Agribition is Canada's largest livestock exhibition with approximately 3,500 entries for various shows and sales, as well as several hundred head of rodeo stock.

"With the help of this funding, Agribition can maintain its status as North America's best beef show," said Marty Seymour, Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Western Agribition. "Our show continues to be the leader in international livestock marketing, and now traceability. We are the first show to implement traceability across our entire system."

The Harper Government investments include $100,000 under the Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative (LATI), a three-year, $20-million initiative funded under the Agricultural Flexibility Fund as part of the Economic Action Plan. This project ensures that all animals featured at Agribition have radio-frequency identification tags, and their movement is tracked using mobile reader technology.

Another investment of $147,000 through the AgriMarketing Program is helping Agribition to organize and coordinate international market activities, promote itself in foreign markets, and establish the International Business Centre. This will help solidify Agribition's reputation as one of the most sought-after agricultural marketplaces in the world, connecting international buyers with Canadian exporters.

Through the AgriMarketing Program under Growing Forward, the Harper Government is investing $88 million to help industry implement long-term international strategies, including international market development, industry-to-industry trade advocacy, and consumer awareness and branding activities. The Harper Government has identified market development as a priority under Growing Forward 2, and this announcement is another example of what is being done to enhance competitiveness and drive innovation and long-term growth in Canadian agriculture.

For more information on LATI, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/LATI.

For more information on AgriMarketing, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/AgriMarketing.

Contacts:
Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-773-7972
1-866-345-7972

Jeff English
Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
613-773-1059

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