Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley and federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz were in a dairy barn in Kilbride Tuesday for a photo-op, and to talk about the “Growing Forward 2” program.
Natural Resources Minister Derrick Dalley chats with farmer Robert Walsh in Kilbride Tuesday. Dalley and federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz were at the farm to talk about money being spent on agriculture in Newfoundland and Labrador.
— Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
The program is nothing new — it started a year ago, and funding for this year has already been awarded to farmers — but Dalley and Ritz wanted to highlight the benefits of the $6 million being spent on farming this year.
In the case of the Glenview Farm, $151,000 from the government meant specialized collars for each of the cows.
“The girls are all sporting those fancy collars,” Ritz told the media, gesturing to the wall of cows feeding next to the standard podium and flags which accompany all political media events.
Walsh said the collars monitor cud chewing and can serve as an early detection of disease. They can also do a range of other things.
“When a cow comes in heat or her activity increases, this will give us the optimal time to inseminate,” Walsh said.
Dalley said that the provincial government has some other ways to give farmers money and support the industry, besides Growing Forward 2.
“Through the programs — both our programs and support from the federal government — we’re essentially supporting agriculture development in the province right from the purchase and acquisition of land, through land clearing, right through production,” he said. “We’re seeing some great things happen right here in the province.”
The Growing Forward 2 program is also funding a robotic milking operation on the west coast.