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MBP Votes To Stay Out Of KAP

CO-OPERATOR STAFF / BRANDON

Manitoba Beef Producers shot down a resolution at its recent annual meeting calling on the board to rejoin Keystone Agricultural Producers.

Minto farmer Bill Campbell spoke in favour of the resolution, which was conditional on MBP being treated as a full member with full representation on KAP s board of directors.

I know there have been conflicts with regard to certain issues, but I think we need to look at the broader picture of agriculture as a whole, he said, adding that a collaborative effort between MBP and KAP will create a more effective lobby group when dealing with higher levels of government.

I may be naive, but I m not sure what MBP s position is on education tax or Bipole III. Those all have effects on us as a lobby group and farm producers.

Greg Johnston took an opposing view.

I think we should remain where we are, he said. KAP is a good organization, but it wasn t treating Manitoba Beef Producers equally.

MBP withdrew its membership in KAP two years ago, after complaints that the beef group was being sidelined by having to share a seat with pork at the red meats commodity group table.

Also, Johnston added, there was continual conflict between the views of free market beef producers and supply managed dairy and poultry.

But I do think we can work with them on a lot of other good points, he said.

Dan Mazier, KAP s vice-president, said that although red meat commodity groups such as sheep, bison and pork, share a seat on the executive and decide once a year who will represent their interests, they would still have three votes per year at general council and at the January AGM.

Also, commodity group representatives have full access to committee discussions, where policies get set.

The executive only makes sure that policy follows through. It has no power. Power in KAP remains at the general council, he said.

I was amazed today the different things that you talk about that we talk about daily. We have bison, sheep and pork, but we can t talk about beef. It seems really ironic.

Mazier was excited about bringing beef back to the table, and pledged to support any efforts by MBP to rejoin the group.

Kim Crandall said that as a free and open market, beef producers should stand alone.

Larry Schweitzer said that KAP s supply management stance made membership problematic for beef producers in the past, and that would likely continue if MBP rejoined.

Citing freedom of choice, he added that because MBP is already very well recognized, the group should support its own continued efforts and not KAP.

Acknowledging the opposing views on ethanol, which has benefited grain producers but driven up the price of feed grains, as an example, MBP president Major Jay Fox said that our differences are just too vast.

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I was amazed today the different things that you talk about that we talk about daily. We have bison, sheep and pork, but we can t talk about beef. It seems really ironic.

DAN MAZIER

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