Our November 23, 1973 issue contained advertisements encouraging farmers to vote on two questions. One was to allow a compulsory checkoff requested by the Manitoba Beef Growers Association to fund a beef-promotion agency for Manitoba cattle producers. While 22,000 farmers were eligible, only 5,696 ballots were returned and the proposal was defeated, with only 43 per cent in favour. However, a later proposal was successful and the Manitoba Cattle Producers Association (now Manitoba Beef Producers) was founded in 1978. There was more interest in a plebiscite on whether rapeseed marketing should be transferred to the Canadian Wheat Board — 78.5 per cent of ballots were returned. A vote of 60 per cent in favour of the CWB was required, but 52.5 per cent voted in favour of keeping the open market.
Following poor world crops and the Soviet “Great Grain Robbery” in 1972, there was much concern about world food security. At a Food and Agricultural Organization meeting of 130 countries in Rome, Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan gave guarded support to a proposal for a world program to hold buffer stocks, but said that importing countries would have to share the cost, noting that Canada had until recently held 40 per cent of the world’s wheat reserves.
That month we reported “that for the first time, a large animal has been born of an embryo that was kept for a week in a deep freeze in a state of suspended animation.” A purebred Hereford bull had been born to a Hereford-Friesian cross at a British research station.
And in Ottawa, an Opposition member failed to get consent for a bill calling for the government to “institute an internship program whereby academics who are devising and setting agricultural policy be required to spend at least two years on a farm, ranch or feedlot every seven years so as not to lose touch with the practical problems of farming.”