POLITICS
04/18/2012 04:05 EDT | Updated 06/18/2012 05:12 EDT

Down on the farm: Alberta Tory leader promotes agriculture on potato tour

LACOMBE, Alta. - Premier Alison Redford put on her jeans Wednesday for a visit to a central Alberta potato farm where she promoted the importance of the province's agriculture industry.

Redford toured Scholing Farms near Lacombe and said she's proud that her party introduced the Alberta Livestock Management Agency, which was established to advance the livestock and meat industry.

The Tory leader said the agency is needed to ensure a sustainable and competitive industry.

"They're connected to traceability," she said. "They allow us to be able to say to our customers this gives us food security. You can have confidence in the products that are coming from Alberta.

"That's forward thinking and that's what government needs to do."

She suggested her party's biggest rival, the Wildrose party, would abolish the livestock agency if Danielle Smith were premier.

She also said the PCs are committed to supporting rural communities, and plan to do more to diversify agriculture if they win re-election on Monday.

"We already put in place stronger support for ag societies and we've made a further commitment of $2 million to ag societies over the next year ... which is really critical to ... the quality of life in communities."

Smith was also on the agriculture circuit, visiting a family farm near Chestermere east of Calgary.