Premier Brian Pallister shuffled his cabinet last week
By Diego Flammini
A familiar face is back at the helm of Manitoba’s ministry of agriculture.
Lakeside MLA Ralph Eichler received his second appointment as the province’s minister of agriculture (and resource development) during Premier Brian Pallister’s July 15 cabinet shuffle.
Eichler previously held the position from May 2016 to October 2019.
He is replacing Blaine Pedersen, who announced he will not be seeking re-election in the next provincial election.
The shuffle also affected two other positions
Premier Pallister named Dr. Alan Lagimodiere, MLA for Selkirk, Manitoba’s first minister of Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations. And Jon Reyes, MLA for Waverley, is the province’s new minister of economic development and jobs.
Reyes is replacing Eichler in that position.
Industry groups welcomed Eichler back into the fold and look forward to building on Minister Pedersen’s work.
“Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) congratulates Ralph Eichler on his appointment to cabinet as Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development,” KAP President Bill Campbell said in a statement. “We look forward to working with him to grow Manitoba’s agricultural industry.”
Minister Eichler comes into the position at a time when multiple issues are affecting Manitoba farmers.
Dry weather and insects are affecting crops and livestock.
Developing a drought relief program is an immediate priority, a government release says.
A collaborative effort is needed to ensure farmers receive the support they need, Eichler said.
"We need to partner with the federal government and municipal governments and producer groups, commodity groups, in order to ensure we get the programs that are going to work,” he said, Steinbach Online reported. “Certain parts of the province, very few, are not really in too bad of shape, but others are in dire situation. Not only drought, we have grasshoppers.”