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In Brief… – for Apr. 9, 2009

Fair gets its grant:

The Manitoba government has given the Royal Manitoba Winter Fair a $100,000 grant as part of a five-year commitment, said Rosann Wowchuk, minister of agriculture, food and rural initiatives.

The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair is the only fair in Western Canada designated as royal. Attendance in 2008 exceeded 118,000 visitors. The Royal Manitoba Winter Fair, Manitoba Summer Fair and Manitoba Livestock Expo are three events presented annually by the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba.

Dairyman named to food council

Saskatchewan farmer Phil Klassen has been appointed to the National Farm Products Council (NFPC). Klassen, a dairy, cow-calf, grain and hay farmer from Herbert, has been active in the dairy industry organizations throughout his farming career.

The NFPC supervises the operations of the four national marketing agencies that manage the supply of Canadian chicken, turkey, eggs, and broiler-hatching eggs.

In addition, the council supervises the operation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Research, Market Development and Promotion Agency.

Agri-food agencies cut red tape:

Federal government staff have cut the paperwork burden on farmers and small businesses by 20 per cent, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz said recently. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has consolidated feed trade memoranda publications, feed product registration checklists, directives and other related documents into a single, integrated online publication. The Canadian Grain Commission changed the way it collects statistical data from grain elevators across Canada, implementing a web-based application and merged three of its data collection forms together.

Ex-Maple Leaf worker charged:

An ex-employee of Maple Leaf Foods has been arrested and charged after some of the company’s Schneiders brand products were tampered with at a Guelph, Ont. grocery store. Guelph Police investigated March 18 after several packages of Schneiders Smart and Schneiders Lunch Mates at one No Frills Store in the city were found to have “sewing needles of various lengths” inserted in them. No one was injured due to the tampering. Mastoora Qezil, 41, faces a charge of common nuisance. Maple Leaf confirmed that she had previously worked for Maple Leaf in Guelph for seven years.

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