It’s open to debate

With all the debates raging on television now, at least on American TV, the value of these sessions in helping voters decide on a politician might be called into question.

But I believe that anything that helps us make better decisions about our elected officials is good.

I know many farmers say all politicians are created equal. (OK, I found a more positive way to convey the words that are typically chosen to describe our elected leaders).

My work has brought me into direct contact with large numbers of our elected representatives and there are many I respect, a few I even admire.

But many people have to learn by reading about what the candidates have said.

Sometimes they might get to hear a sound bite on radio or TV. So choosing a party or candidate is based on a lot of bits and pieces.

Online, offers a chance for more more in-depth and detailed media presentations.

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At The Western Producer, we attempt to provide our readers, online and in print, with more information about agricultural policy platforms and potential ag ministers’ views.

To that end, we are trying something new — live debates.

I am hoping that our live debate, with partner the Agricultural Producers of Saskatchewan, will give Saskatchewan farmers the chance to hear from the horses’ mouths.

On March 22, APAS will host an event live from Saskatoon that will be broadcast on producer.com.

Our users will have the chance to post, tweet and text message their questions to our editors and reporters covering the event and watch five candidates, including the incumbent minister, debate agricultural issues that face the province of Saskatchewan.

While I don’t expect the same fireworks that the U.S. Republicans are experiencing in their debates with the incendiary Donald Trump, agriculture in Saskatchewan has plenty to talk about.

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Water for instance. I am thinking intensive livestock operations might come up.

Non-resident land ownership rules are interesting to talk about. Research priorities and extension agriculture support, or lack of it, are topical.

Let me know what is on your mind.

See you on March 22nd at producer.com/whyagmatters.

mike.raine@producer.com

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