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In Brief… – for Dec. 16, 2010

Ukraine extends export quotas:Ukraine’s government on Dec. 8 extended grain export quotas, set to expire on Dec. 31, until March 31, 2011, Interfax Ukraine news agency quoted Farm Minister Mykola Prysyazhnyuk as saying. “The question is resolved. The quotas are extended by the decision of the government,” Prysyazhnyuk said. Ukraine’s Economy Ministry said earlier it had proposed that the government extend export quotas and issue additional quotas for exports of 500,000 tonnes of wheat exports and one million of maize. Name released:The Swan Riverarea farmer charged with 44 counts of causing damage or injury to animals under the Criminal Code earlier this month is 68-year-old Walter Goba. Goba was charged after RCMP and provincial animal control officers investigated his property and removed 27 dogs, two donkeys and 15 horses they considered unhealthy, neglected and receiving improper care. He is scheduled to appear in Swan River Court on Jan. 19, 2011.

China faces sugar deficit:

China will face a sugar shortfall of more than two million tonnes this crop year, the third straight deficit as consumption outpaces production growth, the officialChina Securities Journalreported Dec. 8.

The world’s third-largest producer and consumer of sugar is also facing declining state reserves, which could prompt China to source more sugar overseas next year to refill its stocks, after a 60 per cent jump in imports in the first 10 months of this year. Winnipeg student named “influencer”:Emily Cummings, a Grade 12 student from Winnipeg, and 11th-grader Megan Reid of Barry’s Bay in eastern Ontario were named in November as the Canadian Seed Trade Association’s “Future Influencers” and sponsored to attend this year’s GrowCanada conference Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 in Ottawa. They were tasked with interviewing speakers and participants at the event, writing about their experiences and sharing their thoughts in a daily conference journal, available online at

FOOD wins sustainability award:Winnipeg’s Fresh Option Organic Delivery (FOOD), an organic retail and delivery business, was one of the recipients of the 2010 Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Awards and Sustainable Development Scholarships announced last week by Conservation Minister Bill Blaikie. FOOD received the Outstanding Achievement in Sustainability Award for working with local producers to strengthen Manitoba’s organic market and increase the sustainability of the food system.

Arason port appointment:

Transport Minister Chuck Strahl has appointed Greg Arason to the board of directors of the Thunder Bay Port Authority for a three-year term, effective January 1, 2011. The Thunder Bay Port Authority is the Canada Port Authority (CPA) established to manage the Port of Thunder Bay under the Canada Marine Act. Arason formerly served as president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Wheat Board and CEO of Manitoba Pool Elevators.

City farmers welcome:

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has extended membership privileges to urban farmers, following a resolution passed at the NFU’s 41st Annual Convention earlier this month. “The NFU is very inclusive and our members have diverse operations. It makes sense to include urban farmers in the organization. Membership in the NFU will give these farmers a forum to bring policy to all levels of government, and allow them to contribute both their expertise and their concerns to the betterment of all farm families,” youth vice-president Paul Slomp said. – Staff New executive:The Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) has elected Stephen Vandervalk of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association as its new president, replacing outgoing president Doug Robertson. Each member farm organization appoints a director to the GGC board, from which a four-person executive is elected. Vice-president is Gary Stanford, of the Alberta Winter Wheat Producers. Allan Ling of the Atlantic Grains Council and Irmi Critcher of the British Columbia Grain Producers Association are also on the executive. – Staff NFU executive:Terry Boehm of Allan, Sask. will continue on as president of the National Farmers Union. Boehm was re-elected at the NFU’s 41st annual national convention in Saskatoon.

Colleen Ross of Iroquois, Ont. was acclaimed as NFU first vice-president. Don Mills of Granton, Ont. remains the NFU second vice-president. Joan Brady of Dashwood, Ont. remains the NFU women’s president.

Paul Slomp of Ottawa, Ont. was elected NFU youth vice-president. – Staff

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