This article written by Andrea Brocklebank, BCRC Executive Director, originally appeared in the April 2015 issue of Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Connection magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.
“Telling the future by looking at the past….is like driving a car by looking in the rear-view mirror” – Herb Bordy…but history helps illuminate the present. Shortly after Confederation, agriculture became a nation-building tool to settle the West and prevent U.S. expansion. Agriculture provided freight for Canada’s railroads, fed the urban population, and supplied millers, processors and exporters. Canada’s Experimental Farms Stations Act of 1886 supported productivity-boosting research and provided even more freight, food, and economic spin-offs.
Canada’s farm population declined as technology and mechanization reduced the need for farm labour, and more people moved into other jobs in Canada’s expanding economy. When Canada’s first agricultural census was completed in 1931, 31.7% of Canada’s population Continue reading