Mr. Speaker, this week we are celebrating National Soil Conservation Week. Healthy soil is an essential component of a healthy environment and is a foundation on which sustainable agriculture is built.
The Soil Conservation Council of Canada was formed 10 years ago to promote the preservation and enrichment of Canada's soil and water resources for the benefit of present and future generations. Half of its current board members are farmers, including newly elected president, Gerry Willerth of Indian Head, Saskatche-
wan. They form a coalition of producer driven, soil and water conservation organizations in each province with all stakeholders contributing funding toward public education, research and program evaluation.
The Government of Canada, through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, conducts research and actively supports initiatives for soil conservation. Much progress has been made in halting and reversing soil degradation.
National Soil Conservation Week helps to focus attention on this important issue which affects us all.