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APAS president quits: report

Glenn Blakley, president of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, has resigned, according to the Regina Leader-Post, in what the newspaper said appears to be a “bitter internal dispute” at the organization.

The newspaper quoted an Oct. 16 APAS release saying Blakley’s resignation was effective Oct. 10 and that vice-president Don Connick, who was first elected as APAS’s second vice-president in December last year, has “assumed the role of president with the full support of the board of directors and staff.”

The Leader-Post’s article Friday described APAS’s news release as “highly critical” of Blakley and his leadership of the group. It quoted APAS as implying Blakley defamed APAS with his “public” resignation.

The newspaper quoted Blakley as saying he had recently sent a memo to association representatives last weekend citing concerns with the APAS board. The Saskatchewan farmer did not provide the newspaper with a copy of said memo.

Kevin Hursh, a well-known Saskatchewan agriculture journalist and commentator, on his website recently quoted Blakley as saying he could no longer in good conscience continue to support a board that focuses on “petty internal politics, power struggles and personal agendas rather than the work they were elected to do.”

Hursh quoted Blakley as saying “continuing interference of certain board members” had led to extremely high staff turnover in the past eight years. APAS was formed in 1999 as a general farm organization for the province, on the initiative of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities.

Blakley’s resignation follows that of first vice-president Kerry Holderness in January, and of former president Ken McBride in May 2007.

Hursh, who describes himself as a longtime supporter of the concept of a general farm organization for the province, quoted Blakley as warning that spending money on an APAS membership “would be an irresponsible investment for rural municipal councils to make.”

Blakley’s resignation, Hursh said in his online commentary, “will either be a catalyst for long-overdue changes or it will be the beginning of the end of APAS.”

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