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Funding to help western oat growers expand markets

Dec. 6, 2012, Saskatoon, SK – Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today announced that the Prairie Oat Growers Association will receive an investment to help boost the industry's sales internationally.

The $100,000 investment through the AgriMarketing Program will help the Prairie Oat Growers Association increase export of oats and oat products to the U.S. equine market and educate horse owners and equine advisors on the benefits of Canadian oats for equines.

"The AgriMarketing funding is being used toward the Prairie Oat Growers Association's efforts to reclaim lost equine feed markets for oats in North America," said Bill Wilton, President of the Association. "Oat exports declined by 700,000 metric tonnes from 1994 to 2011, and it's critical to Canadian oat producers that we reclaim that market. The AgriMarketing funding is imperative for producer-funded commodity groups that have no advocate to expand markets in agriculture products like oats."

The Prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba produce an average of about 90 per cent of Canada's oats, with the majority grown in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In 2011, oats provided $425 million in farm cash receipts to these western provinces.