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CWB Must Be A Strong Advocate For Farmers

For over 30 years, I have produced wheat and canola near Benito, Man. This has made me a strong supporter of the single-desk marketing and farmer control of the Canadian Wheat Board.

These are the reasons I am asking for your support in the Canadian Wheat Board directors’ elections. It matters who we elect and I want to show my fellow producers the respect of being clear about where I stand.

I STAND FOR:

Retention of single-desk marketing through the CWB;

Farmer control of the CWB. Farmers must be consulted on all major changes which affect them;

Farmer access to producer cars and greater use of the Port of Churchill to increase market returns and reduce shipping costs;

Expanded and more flexible payment options for producers;

More public funding of basic and applied agricultural research;

Promoting the “Canadian Quality” brand around the world as the safest and the best food product;

The CWB as a strong advocate for farmers on important policy issues – marketing, trade, transportation and research.

The CWB has done a good job of branding our high-quality Canadian grain to international markets and that has paid off for farmers. But the CWB needs to develop this further on the home front.

Too many Canadians do not understand the advantage of our high-quality grain. I understand that the CWB needs to continue meeting the needs of both farmers and end-user customers.

The fact is, farmers make the decisions about the actions and directions of the CWB through their elected representatives. It is time for governments at all levels to respect the rights of the farmer-elected directors to have the final decision on policy and governance issues regarding the board.

There is more to being a grain marketer than just setting a price. To get the most money for farmers, the CWB has to continue being involved in grain tendering, blending, producer cars access, use of the Port of Churchill and branding our quality Canadian grain in market development for our advantage.

Our wheat board must advocate for farmers in trade disputes and transportation issues such as railway service levels and costing reviews. These are some of the ways farmers achieve market power through the CWB single desk.

There are those who want to think we can do without singledesk marketing of grain. Potash marketing in Saskatchewan brings perspective to the debate about the benefits of CWB singledesk marketing for farmers. There are three potash producers and the government of Saskatchewan who see the benefit of single-desk marketing. The Saskatchewan premier has said the ramifications of ending this practice in the potash industry would mean lower prices for potash. The three potash producers benefit from single desk selling the same way thousands of grain farmers benefit from single desk marketing through our CWB.

Australian grain producers lost their single-desk wheat board two years ago. Now their grain is under the control of corporate interests. Their board is gone, transportation, and marketing is disorganized and their prices have fallen.

This experience shows there is either a strong single-desk Canadian Wheat Board or there is a market where the four big private companies control most of the grain. Our CWB operates in the interests of western farmers who are its only shareholders. The audited statements of the CWB show that all the benefits of single-desk marketing accrue back to us, the farmers. That is why it is our CWB and our business.

MY QUALIFICATIONS:

While I’m most comfortable in the cab of a tractor, I have many years of experience working on various boards of directors and committees of companies, cooperatives, and farm organizations (Manitoba Pool Elevators, Agricore Co-operative, Federated Co-operatives Ltd., Keystone Agricultural Producers and SwanValley Co-op to name a few.) I enjoy meeting other farmers and discussing agricultural issues with them.

Where I stand on our CWB is very clear. However, if you want more information from me and my views, you can:

Phone me at (204)-539- 2176;

See my printed campaign information that comes with your wheat board ballot…

Consult my website at: http://www.votesandborn4cwb.ca/home.

I ask for your support in the CWB’s directors’ election by placing a number “1” next to my name.

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