The Federal Government has announced $4.4 million in funding to improve the agriculture sector through different innovative projects.

Kent Hehr, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, made the announcement in Calgary last Friday, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Lawrence MacAulay.

$2.2 million of the funding will go towards projects through the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Alberta Beef Producers, the Canadian Angus Association, and the National Cattle Feeders Association.

Hehr says, the remaining money will go towards projects such as market development, emergency planning, and competitive pricing.

"Our Government's targeted investments in these agricultural projects will help the sector build on its competitive strengths, leading to greater returns for our farmers and their families here in Alberta and across the country, and ensure continued growth of the middle class."

The Alberta Beef Producers will be given $901,240 to help develop satelite data to help improve forage insurance, $225,000 will be given to the Canadian Angus Association to develop tools which will improve breeding cattle, the National Cattle Feeders Association will recieve $205,500 to develop and implement a national feedlot animal care assessment program, and the Canadian Cattlemen's Association will get $839,485 to explore the use of remote senseing as a tool to insure forage crops.

General Manager of the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Rob McNabb, says the project will help producers with their management strategies.

"Pasture is the lifeblood of the beef cattle industry and when things go wrong, rapid response and alternatives for feeding the cow herd must be timely. Using satelite measurements on a very localized scale, predictions of pasture productrivity feild by field, week by week, will be a significant tool for producer's risk management on a yearly basis."

The investments are part of the Government's plan to grow the economy in a way that works for the middle class.

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