Gerry Ritz says the work he did in government as the federal Minister of Agriculture played a role in his nomination for Canada’s Agriculture Hall of Fame.
The former MP for Battlefords-Lloydminster will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in November 2018, along with four other people who have made a mark on the agriculture industry.
“It’s a tremendous honour. Certainly humbling to be nominated by the industry folks that I worked with all those years as Minister of Agriculture,” says Ritz.
He was nominated by the Alberta Wheat Commission Alberta Barley Commission and Canadian Cattleman’s Association. Ritzs adds that he had a tremendous team on the world stage.
“They were with us every step of the way on a lot of the trade deals that we made and getting access back into a number of countries after BSE. Of course, country board labouring with the U.S. that we had resolved before we lost as government so just a tremendous amount of miles and time spent with those industry folks.”
Ritz served as the Minister of Agriculture between 2007 to 2015. He says the government at that time was able to forge a symbiotic relationship with the industry that allowed his team to address issues more quickly.
“I think just the partnership that we developed as a government between myself as the Minister and industry at large. We developed programs based on what the result industry was looking for not on the program parameters that the government wanted to do.”
Ritz retired from politics last year in August and since then has been focusing on his family in Saskatchewan.