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Farmer thoughts on CWB columns

I went through the mountain of comments I received on
a couple recent blogs dealing with the Canadian Wheat Board (okay so far there
have been five, but I go for quality and not quantity).

Following the first blog June 20, “The Canadian Wheat

Board needs to realize the tribe has spoken”:

Richard writes: “The board is driven by their
philosophy and not the practical realities you so well describe. Remember that,
as the good judge pointed out, the CWB does not have a duty of care for farmers
in the Designated Area.”

Tim writes – “Nicely said. Thanks”

And Bernie in Manitoba sent an
email with these thoughts: 

“1. The wheat board
is important to the small farmer who does not own a number of super Bs — in
other words has only a small amount of wheat and does not have the big trucks
to deliver.


none;mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">2. In our area we
grow only approx 10 per cent of our crops that the CWB would market!

3. We need the CWB
to market our grain.  Most of the anti wheat board producers will only
discover prices and not market grain. The US market is the only market that
they are seeing.

4. The Americans,
especially the elevators along the border are somewhat uncomfortable because
they are expecting an influx of Canadian wheat.  Will the US put an
embargo on our grain just like they have done on hogs for many years, finally
COOL has stuck for a longer period, and lumber.  Even though they have all
been proven illegal they have done the job for the Americans.


none;mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none">5. What if the
our Cdn dollar value increases?

6. The wheat board
cannot exist in an open market, because they have no infrastructure.

7. I find that the
government using the dismantling of the CWB as their election platform,
spending so much time on the issue, some what scary. Are there not bigger
issues for them to deal with?  I do not appreciate the government being on
a mission.  They are listening only to the people who felt they do not
need the organization, not to the people that really need it. That is scary!


If we look at the pork marketing board demise in
Manitoba: the individual producers are losing approx 10 per cent of the market
value in comparison to prior times.  The multi-nationals, or the two
totally vertically producers, Hylife and Maple Leaf, are in total control. What
about the American chicken meat market?  Tyson Foods and three other
processors, each one producing four times the meat that all of Canada does,
control our Canadian market.

The wheat board can provide value to the farmers
 but  the internal organization should be revamped.  I think the
question is; is the CWB changeable? The Government cannot implement change
because it is a prime example of bureaucratic malfunction.”

And of course, after that first blog, Maureen Fitzhenry,
communications manager for the Canadian Wheat Board suggested it might be
useful if I  actually read CWB
chairman Allen Oberg’s speech, which I did do. Thanks Maureen….

Following my second column, June 22 “Further reflections on
the CWB future

Ann writes: “CWB’s role in an open market will
be to roll over and die. I don’t think the government has provided any hint of
what sort of help it will provide the CWB to transition. Will there be
financial or regulatory help? I doubt it. What’s left is that farmers must
decide if they want to form a new grain company. Why would anyone want to take
that risk? Especially when they are starting from nothing. If I’m a farmer,
I’ll take the easy road and sell to the first grain company that will take my
product. I’m not going to waste my time, energy and money on an unproven
proposition such as a voluntary CWB. They might as well start their own
discount chain and go up against Walmart. Yes, farmers will soon have the
marketing freedom to sell to the grain company of their choice. The world will
go on, but it will go on without the CWB.”

And Stewart from Southern Alberta, who may be in line
as my proofreader at Grainews, noticed I spelled the word dessert instead of
desert. (I have done that before, so it is obvious where my head is at, but I
did correct it).

But, Stewart writes: “Lee, an interesting typo
in the third last paragraph, “post-monopoly dessert” Hmmm? It could
have been intended to read “desert”, but maybe it will actually be
dessert. Probably a lot of chewing and some regurgitating on the main course
though, of coarse!”


Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or
by email at
[email protected]