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Manitoba Restructures Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives

by 5m Editor
14 December 2004, at 12:00am

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1668. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1668

The Manitoba government says the restructuring of the Provincial Department of Agriculture Food and Rural Initiatives will allow it to provide more specialized services for livestock producers.

Yesterday the Manitoba government announced the existing provincial agricultural offices will be replaced by a series of strategically located 'Go Offices, Go Centres, Urban Go Centres and Go Knowledge Centres' designed to better meet the specialized needs of the agriculture and agrifood sector for value added production, economic growth, information, service and food safety.

While focus of the offices and the roles of some staff will change, the move is not intended to result in closures or staff reductions.

Acting Assistant Deputy Minister Dori Gingera-Beauchemin says the realignment will allow staff to become more focused on the specialized needs of modern value added agricultural development.

"I think you'll be able to see that some of our people that have been experienced in the livestock industry will now be business development in livestock and business development in swine. Not only will they come with the primary agricultural experience, technical knowledge and the training they've had.

Now the dimension will be how are we going to move beef into meat products, what are we going to do with swine genetics as a business?

We're going to add the element of business development to traditional areas. That's going to be a change for some of them but we're still going to have the specialized services in the livestock branch.

They're still going to be there. We're going to have lots of support services but, on the front line, they'll have a dimension about value added and diversification in addition to their existing primary agriculture.

Industry is going that way anyway and our staff want to go with them so it's going to allow them the permission to specialize in it."

Gingera-Beauchemin says a transition team is now in place to direct the changes and, while the new structure officially takes effect April 1'st, the process is expected to take anywhere from 18 to 24 months to complete.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.

5m Editor