Its been a busy year for Alberta's Agriculture and Forestry Minister.

A highlight for Oneil Carlier was his second trade mission to India back in February.

Carlier says he's the only Alberta Ag Minister to ever make the trip to India.

"That's a really important market and we had a very successful trade mission. Talked with a lot of folks about challenges we're having around pulses, but also expanding the swine industry with genetics to the state of Bengal, so that was great."

Another highlight for Carlier was when the Government passed the Supporting Alberta's Local Food Sector Act, which lead to the introduction of organic standards in Alberta.

However, he says 2018 didn't come without challenges, as untimely snow during harvest made it difficult for farmers to get their crops off.

Despite frustrating harvest conditions, farmers in the province managed to get 98 per cent of their crops in the bin.

"Weather aside, agriculture continues to be a larger and larger part of the economy in Alberta," Carlier says. "The manufacturing of agricultural products in Alberta is currently the largest manufactured sector in the province."

Carlier adds trade issues such as the NAFTA renegotiation caused some Alberta farmers angst.

"Still some challenges there with our supply managed sectors, especially dairy and chicken, and waiting to see how that plays out. But we do have an agreement, for the vast majority of agriculture, I think is going to work well."

He says Alberta farmers and ranchers continue to do a great job using new technology and innovation to get their products to customers around the world.

 

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