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Minister Ritz on the Movember Campaign Trail

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/14/12 -- Movember is here and the countdown is on for the shaving of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz's familiar moustache. With about two weeks to go in the fundraising campaign, donations to the Minister's Movember account continue to accumulate, placing the Minister in the top 10 fundraisers for all of Canada.

Last month, Canada's poultry and egg farmers challenged Minister Ritz to shave his moustache in support of prostate cancer research and men's mental health awareness, setting a steep fundraising goal of $25,000.

Ritz accepted the challenge and issued his own to the Canadian agriculture industry: "Although, it's clear that Canadian farmers and processors deliver the best food in the world, we're raising the stakes to see if they can remain the best fundraisers too."

Movember campaign supporters include Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Egg Farmers of Canada and Turkey Farmers of Canada.

"Prostate cancer and men's mental health are important issues for Canadians from coast to coast," said Peter Clarke, Chairman of Egg Farmers of Canada. "Canada's farmers and agriculture industry stakeholders all have a role to play in ensuring the health of Canadians and this campaign shows the ability of farmers to rally behind a significant cause."

Ritz's 2012 Movember campaign builds on the success of his 2011 fundraising effort, which saw him collect over $16,000 and rank as the 20th biggest fundraiser in Canada and 37th in the world.

"Movember is a unique way to raise funds for an important cause," said Mark Davies, Chair of Turkey Farmers of Canada. "We are grateful to those who have already pledged their support to the Minister's campaign and call out to all Canadian agriculture and food industry players to join us in helping to change the face of men's health."

Movember is the public awareness campaign held each November to promote prostate cancer awareness and male 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.

Donations can be made to Minister Ritz's Movember Canada campaign online here, or you can reference Gerry Ritz and Registration # 2736566 and send it to: Movember Canada, 119 Spadina Avenue, PO Box 65, Toronto, ON M5T 2T2.

To learn more about Movember visit: http://ca.movember.com.

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