02/06/2013 04:03 EST | Updated 04/08/2013 05:12 EDT

Agriculture IQ: Regina summit promotes farming, aims at dispelling myths

REGINA - Almost 200 people representing farmers and agri-business leaders in Saskatchewan have put their heads together to separate the wheat from the chaff about their industry.

The goal of an agricultural awareness summit in Regina was to promote farming and dispel some negative myths.

Summit co-ordinator Shelly Jones told the summit that people need a better understanding of what farmers do and why they do it.

She said farmers produce healthy food for a growing population while keeping the environment in mind.

The summit was organized by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.

Saskatchewan exported more than $10 billion in agri-food products in 2011 — surpassing oil and potash.

"We need to use more farmers as messengers about our industry to build public support," Jones said.


"People (need) accurate information to let them know that we are ... regulated to ensure that ... the food that we grow is safe, is healthy, is nutritious.

"We provide solutions to a growing population. We are environmental stewards of the land."

The provincial government has four objectives related to agriculture. They include increasing agri-food exports by 50 per cent and upping crop production by 10 million tonnes.