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Briefs continued – for Feb. 18, 2010

Fatal mishap:

A driver who abandoned a broken-down half-ton and a set of heavy harrows partially obstructing the traffic lane on a major highway overnight has been charged with criminal negligence causing death after a car collided with the equipment, killing the occupant. The accident on Hwy. 16 near Russell June 27, 2009 killed Jason Hargreaves, 22, of Brandon. Charged is Gerald Vermette, 41, of St. Pierre Jolys. He appears in Russell provincial court Feb. 24. Russell RCMP say alcohol was not a factor in the incident.

Food Freedom Day?:

Alberta NFU’er Margo Staniforth questions whether Canadians’ grocery bill is truly paid by Feb. 12. “Food Freedom Day illustrates how much farm families in Canada subsidize food production through unpaid labour, off-farm jobs and high debt loads. Farm families are taking a loss while retailers, processors and other big corporations in the food system are making profits.

Should we be celebrating the fact that farm families are underpaid? It’s such an accepted part of our culture that we mistakenly think of it as normal.” – NFU release

Australia bound:

Hog barn training is going Down Under. Assiniboine Community College has agreed to sell 12 courses focusing on the swine production industry to Australia Pork Ltd.

The courses range from Swine Nutrition, to swine Health, to advance production analysis, and will give the industry access to diploma-level resources. The courses are part of a newly developed Swine Production program being offered by ACC starting in March 2010. The program is targeted to swine barn supervisors and managers and is offered by distance delivery only.

Breakfast with champions:

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz hosted domestic and international media to a breakfast feast highlighting the safe, delicious and high-quality foods that Canadian farmers produce last week as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games began. He was joined by a team of top Canadian chefs and representatives representing the canola, beef, pork, dairy, horticulture and wine industries.

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