OTTAWA, ONTARIO — (Marketwire) — 12/06/12 — Movember is over and Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz’s money-raising moustache, the “Mo” extraordinaire, has received a fitting send-off. Minister Ritz’s trademark moustache was removed in a private and heartbreaking ceremony on December 1st.
The Minister’s Movember campaign raised nearly $35,000 in donations this year and more than $50,000 over the past two years. His 2012 total ranks him 7th in Canada and 10th in the world.
Canada’s poultry and egg farmers challenged Minister Ritz to raise $25,000 and he easily surpassed that mark. Campaign supporters included Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Egg Farmers of Canada and Turkey Farmers of Canada, along with many other industry stakeholders and agriculture partners.
“Minister Ritz’s successful campaign has demonstrated our common commitment to prostate cancer awareness and men’s mental health,” said Dave Janzen, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. “Poultry farmers were proud to be a part of a very successful fundraising campaign.”
“We are pleased the Minister was able to raise so much money for such a worthy cause,” said Peter Clarke, Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. “It’s also important to note the large number of contributions that came from farmers, poultry industry suppliers, various organizations and individuals across Canadian agriculture and staff within government.”
“While it was a sad day for my beloved moustache, it was a very small sacrifice compared to the men and their families who have to live with prostate cancer every day,” said Minister Ritz. “While my upper-lip shivers, I’m warm with the knowledge that not only is Canada’s agriculture industry a driver of our economy but that it values community and team work both on and off the farm. Thank you to the poultry industry for your tremendous leadership on this important initiative. “
Movember is an international, month-long campaign which raises funds for prostate cancer research and awareness for men’s mental health. According to Prostate Cancer Canada, 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with a form of prostate cancer, making it the most common cancer among Canadian men. One out of five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime and the remaining four will have a family member or colleague who will.
“Prostate cancer and men’s mental health are important health concerns,” said Mark Davies, Chair of Turkey Farmers of Canada. “We thank all those that donated to the cause and to those that helped promote the campaign so that it was a complete success. This campaign was important so that farmers could show urbanites how rural Canada can step up to the plate in support of a national initiative that affects all Canadians.”
“It’s just great to see the agriculture community come together in support of this worthwhile cause,” said Jack Greydanus, Chair of the Canadian Hatching Egg Producers. “Farmers were very much up to the challenge and Minister Ritz’s campaign focused a lot of positive attention on these important health issues.”
Movember is the public awareness campaign held each November to promote prostate cancer awareness and male mental health.