The Canadian Cattlemen's Association (CCA) identified some key announcements in last week's federal budget for Agriculture.

The CCA says agriculture themes included supply chain resiliency, climate smart agriculture, labour, and key investments in rural infrastructure.

They also noted a commitment to continue investing in the Canadian Agriculture Partnership, which is to be renewed in 2023, is included.

Fawn Jackson, the Director of Policy and International Affairs for the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, says they were pleased to see increased investment in resilient supply chains.

"There was a round $600 million of the budget that was indicated for that. I think when we're thinking of infrastructure, $600 million doesn't look like it goes really far. But there have been other previous investments of infrastructure around the $4 billion mark, and they've indicated that those dollars are really going to now be focused on building these resilient supply chains."

CCA President Reg Schellenberg says Budget 2022 includes strategic investments that can support and enhance our industry’s role in Canada’s green economy.

"The impact of the devastating flooding in BC is just one example of many highlighting the need for investment in critical infrastructure to ensure supply chain resiliency."

Jackson notes another key announcement was the $48.2 million for a new foreign labour program for agriculture and fish processing is definitely welcome news.

"We have this enormous opportunity in front of us with the global market and demand, particularly for Canadian agriculture products and beef. So last year, actually, we saw just under a 40% increase in our trade export in value. So it really showcases how big the demand is out there, but the demand is even bigger than that. You know, what's really limiting our ability to access those international markets even further is labour in Canada. It's not just labour at the processing facilities, but it's actually labour all along the supply chain. So, you know, on the farms, in the transport sector, in the processing facilities. And so, we've been advocating for a long time for agriculture specific solutions, and we were really pleased to see that there was agriculture specific dollars for a program to be able to enhance those labour shortages."

A highlight of the rural infrastructure investment is the $2.75 billion earmarked for the Universal Broadband Fund to improve high-speed Internet access in rural and remote areas.

While many pieces of what the CCA advocated for were included in the budget, others will require further engagement, including the investment in a Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine bank and the creation of additional trade technical support in the Indo-Pacific region.