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At least 3 new faces at CWB

Ken Ritter, James Chatenay and Ian McCreary have served three terms as director, so they can’t run in the upcoming Canadian Wheat Board election. That means we’ll see at least three new faces on the CWB board of directors. Incumbents Rod Flaman, district 8, and Bill Toews, district 10, are running for re-election and they each face four competitors.

Here is the complete slate of candidates, listed in alphabetical order for each district. Each candidate has written his own short bio to describe his background and his views. For longer bios, go to the election website at

District 2

Jeff Neilsen, Olds, Alta. 403-556-3035

Jeff believes it’s time the Canadian Wheat Board focuses on farmers and what’s best for their businesses. As someone who has stood up for farmers and agriculture for many years, he wants the CWB to do the same — and not demand farmers stand up for it. Jeff is committed to bringing real market choice and innovation to the CWB and to agriculture in Western Canada. He wants to give you more opportunities with every delivery you make. Experienced, knowledgeable and optimistic, Jeff knows farmers must have more options and flexibility if they’re going to compete in today’s marketplace.

Gerald Pilger, Ohaton, Alta. 780-672-4394

Gerald believes the value of the CWB arises from the single desk. Without the single desk, growers would face the same disadvantage livestock producers now experience — a large number of disorganized producers trying to deal with a very few, very powerful buyers. “Now is not the time to give away the only marketing power we have!”

Gerald has a degree in agricultural economics from the University of Alberta (1977.) He was an Alberta Agriculture District Agriculturist from 1977-80 in High River, Smoky Lake and Drumheller. He has farmed at Ohaton for the past 28 years and has been an agricultural writer for 12 years.

District 4

Sam Magnus, Luseland, Sask. 306-372-4615

Sam Magnus, a lifelong grain farmer from near Luseland, is a strong proponent of market choice for grain farmers. “Farmers should have the choice to sell to whomever they choose. But I don’t want to deny anyone the right to sell to the board if that is their choice. We need to maintain a strong CWB for those who want it.”

Magnus, 60, is a graduate of Briercrest Bible College. He operates a 4,000-acre grain farm. Magnus was a founder of the Northwest Terminal. He has served in various roles with Briercrest Bible College and Seminary. He was a member of the interim Conservative council that brokered the Canadian Alliance/ Progressive Conservative merger. Walter Suntjens, Hanna, Alta. 403-779-2212

In talking to farmers in District 4, it has become clear that single desk selling is no longer a viable option. Farmers want more control and opportunities in marketing their grain. I believe value-adding infrastructure would be in place very quickly, along with a direct-to-end-user container program.

A main argument used against dual marketing is that it will allow rail and grain companies to generate greater profits. The way I see it, the railway will remain my only viable transportation option. And whether the CWB is the seller of my product, I still have to deliver my product to a large grain company. The CWB is the only part of this process that is optional. Bill Woods, Eston, Sask. 306-962-4477

Bill Woods, 61, is a farmer and former highschool teacher. He is also a spray pilot. For 10 years, Bill has been an executive member of West Central Road & Rail’s board of directors. Bill is intimately familiar with grain handling and transportation issues.

Bill is a strong supporter of the CWB’s single desk. “When it comes to marketing choice, producers have two options, the CWB’s single desk or the open market,” says Woods. “The notion that producers can somehow have the best of both in a “dual market” is simply a myth.”

District 6

Wayne Bacon, Kinistino, Sask. 306-864-3278

Many issues affect Canadian producers today. Market choice is an important one, but it will be decided by the Federal Government. I strongly support the Canadian Wheat Board and know that we must work diligently to ensure that it is continually the number one choice for farmers.

Topics that need to be addressed include: On farm food safety (OFFS); transportation costs; capturing the top 20 per cent of the market price, not just the average price; a contingency fund to be sure we can move adjustment payments up faster when price warrants moving them; improved fixed price contracts. Cameron Goff, Hanley, Sask. 306-544-2790

Cameron Goff is a strong supporter of the Canadian Wheat Board single desk. A farmer and businessman, he knows from personal experience that when farmers work together, they achieve better returns. And when farmers’ business bottom lines improve, rural communities also benefit.

He farms in the Hanley-Bradwell area in a family run operation that crops 5,000 acres. They grow malt barley, canola, spring and winter wheat, durum, oats, flax, peas, mustard, lentils and chickpeas. They own, cash rent and crop-share their land base.

Cam believes it is up to farmers to democratically decide on future directions for the CWB. It’s our board, our decision.

Gerrid Gust, Davidson, Sask. 306-567-2152

Gerrid Gust, 32, operates a diversified family farm and cattle operation near Davidson. He has an agriculture diploma from the University of Saskatchewan.

Gust feels strongly about building a voluntary CWB. “My goal is to transform the CWB into an organization, owned and controlled by farmers, that is the farmer’s marketing arm of choice.”

Gust was vice-president of Prairie Diamond Credit Union and is the current Davidson delegate to Affinity Credit Union. He was a member of the Davidson Kinsmen’s Telemiracle corporate committee. He is also a director and secretary/ treasurer of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers.

Doyle Wiebe, Langham, Sask. 306-283-4340

I operate a 5,000-acre grain farm with my wife and son, producing mainly canola, wheat and barley. I am also a professional agrologist, assisting many farmers over the years in various aspects of farm management. I have served on numerous corporate and volunteer boards and committees.

In the past few years I have come to better understand and appreci-

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