Rural MLA is Manitoba’s new ag minister

Manitoba has a new agriculture minister.

Blaine Pedersen, an MLA from the rural constituency of Midland, was sworn in as the minister responsible for the Department of Agriculture and Resource Development.

The new department will have additional responsibilities, including watershed districts, forestry, mining, fish and wildlife management.

Pedersen has extensive experience in agriculture. He operated a cattle and grain farm for 30 years and was involved in the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association, now known as Manitoba Beef Producers.

Pedersen replaces Ralph Eichler, who served as Manitoba’s agriculture minister from the spring of 2015 until the provincial election in September, when the Progressive Conservatives were re-elected in Manitoba.

Eichler had an excellent rapport with farm groups and a positive relationship with Lawrence MacAulay, the former federal agriculture minister.

Eichler is now Manitoba’s economic development and training minister. In a press release, the province said the new department will focus on “post-secondary education and training to create synergies and alignment between learning and the jobs that will drive the economy.”





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