GFM Network News


Manitoba growers approve five-way commodity group merger

Manitoba grain growers represented by five separate commodity organizations have voted to greenlight a merger they now expect to make official by August. A total of 165 ballots were cast Wednesday and Thursday during the groups’ annual general and special meetings at the CropConnect conference in Winnipeg, with members at the various events voting between

Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers members cast their votes on Feb. 13.

Amalgamation vote passes, forming crop alliance

Members of the five commodity groups debated, then voted at CropConnect 2020

[UPDATED: Feb. 14, 2020] Five Manitoba commodity groups have voted to join forces after two years of consultation and debate. “I am relieved, and I’m happy with the outcome,” said Eric Fridfinnson, board chair of the soon-to-be-defunct Manitoba Flax Growers Association. The vote passed with a clear majority after members of the five organization voted


Grain Farmers of Ontario celebrates a decade together

Merging gave the group greater resilience and resources, its leaders say

Ten years after its formation, Grain Farmers of Ontario says amalgamation equipped it to navigate an increasingly complex sector. “The agriculture industry is expanding in areas and contracting in other areas,” writes CEO Barry Senft in a 10th-anniversary edition of Ontario Grain Farmer magazine. “The public interest in agriculture has increased beyond what anyone could

Editorial: Pulling it together

It’s been a long road towards merger for Manitoba commodity groups. Over the past three years groups have opted in and out of the process and at times it’s seemed like little or nothing was happening. But in truth that’s just been the long, slow process of trying to bring independent entities together into one

Currently there are three name options to choose from for the new commodity organization, plus an opportunity to suggest a different name for consideration.

Evolving commodity supergroup searches for a moniker

Deciding what to call an organization made up of five is more complicated than you might think

What’s in a name? As Shakespeare wrote, “… a rose by any other name would smell as sweet… ” But five Manitoba crop commodity groups considering a merger beg to differ. The Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA), Manitoba Corn Growers Association, Manitoba Flax Growers Association, National Sunflower Association of Canada and Winter Cereals


Editorial: A valuable question

The Irish writer and humorist Oscar Wilde once famously noted that a cynic is one who “… knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” Wilde wrote those words in the play “Lady Windemere’s Fan” more than 125 years ago, as a rebuttal to what he saw as the growing cynicism of the

“There are tweaks and changes and we have responded to some of those over the last year.” – Mark McDonald, National Sunflower Association.

Merger talk subdued at recent CropConnect

That’s seen as support but the final say rests for farmer-members when they vote in 2020

Is silence assent? That’s the question after the topic of a farm group merger garnered little discussion at the recent CropConnect meeting in Winnipeg. There, association leaders received so few questions and little feedback, which some interpret as support. “I would say most people would be for it,” National Sunflower Association of Canada (NSAC) president

Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association chair Fred Greig says creating crop committees will address concerns raised about directors’ workload and crop representation if five Manitoba commodity groups amalgamate.

Commodity group merger revised

The new proposal will address concerns from farmer-members

Five Manitoba commodity groups have revised their amalgamation proposal. It now includes four crop committees to address concerns around director workload and crop representation and want members’ input until votes on merging are held in February 2020. “We heard the concerns expressed on the original proposal,” Fred Greig, chair of the Manitoba Wheat and Barley


Interim delegates, directors and elections explained

If farmer-members vote to amalgamate the five organizations in 2020, existing directors will become interim delegates on the four crop committees, the Manitoba Commodity Organization Amalgamation Proposal says. That will provide continuity as crop committee delegates are elected over time. Half of the first crop committee delegates will serve a one-year term and the rest

Editorial: Burying the hatchet

There’s a long-running list of issues that, over the years, have been sure to spur fast and furious debate between farmers. It’s such a well-worn trope that there’s an old joke that’s been circulating for many years that goes like this: [Insert agriculture policy-maker’s name] was once asked how you could get anything done when