GFM Network News


“It is conceivable that the directors representing corn will not be able to convince the majority of the new board to initiate trade action when these unfair subsidies happen again... “ – Bob Bartley.

Commodity groups prepare to cast deciding vote

Leaders in the five crop groups say merging will make them stronger, but members have the ultimate say

After years of consultation, meetings and webinars, five Manitoba commodity groups are preparing to vote on whether they will merge to form the Manitoba Crop Alliance. As the vote nears, producers have gone “relatively quiet,” said Pam de Rocquigny, general manager of the Manitoba Corn Growers Association. “I think there’s been lots of communication out to our members,”

Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association says drafts of bylaws and the amalgamation agreement are available online.

Manitoba commodity groups issue merger info

The five commodity groups proposing a merger say the draft agreement and bylaws are available online

The five Manitoba commodity groups proposing to merge have more information for members to consider before they vote on it in person February 12 and 13 during the Crop Connect conference in Winnipeg. A draft amalgamation agreement and draft bylaws for the new organization are available online (see at bottom), Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers


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

“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

Revised commodity group merger proposal responds to farmer concerns

Crop committees and delegates will help with the workload and encourage engagement with members

Manitoba commodity groups seeking amalgamation say their proposal to create four crop committees and a delegate system should allay concerns about a bigger workload for directors and engaging members. The proposal, and the process leading up to a merger vote by farmer-members set for February 2020, were released last month and explained in depth during


Merger will create a substantial new organization

The new group would represent 8,000 Manitoba farmers and 40 per cent of annual crop acres

If the proposed merger of five crops organizations goes ahead next year, it’s going to create a new force to be reckoned with, according to consultant Rob Hannam of Synthesis Agri-Food Network. A tie-up of the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA), Manitoba Corn Growers Association (MCGA), Manitoba Flax Growers Association (MFGA), National Sunflower

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

Why merge?

Why merge? The reasons for five Manitoba farm commodity associations — Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers, Manitoba Pulse & Soybean Growers, Manitoba Corn Growers, Manitoba Flax Growers and National Sunflower Association of Canada — to merge were reviewed at each of the association’s annual meetings Feb. 14 and 15 at CropConnect in Winnipeg. Here’s a


Volunteers prepare lunch at the annual St. Jean Farm Days.

Farmers mull commodity group merger’s risks and benefits

Vote on proposed merger to take place in early 2019

Five Manitoba commodity groups were at St. Jean Farm Days last week, seeking input on a proposed amalgamation plan. At the event Myron Krahn told producers that “we’re here because we want farmers’ feedback, we want ideas from farmers… we’re looking for as much feedback as we can get, positive or negative, it doesn’t matter.”

During KAP’s Nov. 1 advisory council meeting Starbuck farmer Ed Rempel said he shared concerns raised by Butch Harder of Lowe Farm about losing farmer representation if five Manitoba commodity groups merge into one association.

Commodity merger gets chilly reception from some

Some farmers worried over loss of input

The Keystone Agricultural Producers’ (KAP) meeting room was chilly, then Starbuck farmer Ed Rempel explained why. “Well Mr. Chairman, I think hell just froze over because I agree with everything Butch Harder just said.” The room erupted with laughter. Harder, a KAP District 3 representative who farms at Lowe Farm, had just told KAP’s fall