From the Archives: Four western dairy co-ops get approval to become one

The Western Producer takes a weekly look at some of the stories that made headlines in issues of the paper from 75, 50, 25 and 10 years ago.

75 years ago: March 5, 1942

The Saskatchewan legislature unanimously endorsed a petition calling on the dominion government to change its wheat policy.

The petition, which had been circulating throughout the province for much of the winter, had been brought to Ottawa by a 400-member delegation.

Meanwhile, the Manitoba legislature asked Ottawa to establish a minimum price of $1 per bushel for No. 1 Northern wheat.

O.S. Longman, Alberta’s field crops commissioner, told an agricultural short course in Calgary that western agriculture had suffered because of a lack of “sense of stewardship for the land. The fundamental weakness in our agriculture has been that we have acquired land not for use but for speculative purposes.”

50 years ago: March 9, 1967

The farmers unions in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia decided to distribute pledge cards to producers as part of an effort to organize a farmer boycott in which they would commit to not buying new cars, trucks, tractors and other durable goods.

The idea of a boycott to force down the high cost of agricultural supplies was starting to gain traction on the Prairies.

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Leo Kristjansen, an economics professor at the University of 
Saskatchewan, argued for the public ownership of all inland and terminal grain elevators be-cause of the system’s inefficient use of labour and management resources.

25 years ago: March 5, 1992

The federal government included in its budget a provision that would allow creditors to offer financially precarious small businesspeople, including farmers, a four percent interest rate break for a refinancing loan. Ottawa would make the initiative possible by not taxing bank revenues from interest charged to such loans.

Western Canada’s four major dairy co-operatives received approval from the federal government’s bureau of competitive policy to merge. Dairy Producers Co-operative Ltd., Central Alberta Dairy Pool, North Alberta Dairy Pool Ltd. and Fraser Valley Milk Producers Co-operative Association, now needed to take the proposal to their 5,000 members.

10 years ago: March 8, 2007

Marvin Shauf, a former Saskatchewan Wheat Pool vice-president who had served as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture’s second vice-president for eight years, lost his bid for another term to Ron Bonnett, former president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. Shauf had been hoping to replace Bob Friesen as CFA president when he eventually stepped down. Instead, it was Bonnett who eventually became CFA president. He was recently re-elected to another term.

Maple Leaf Foods announced it would close its Saskatoon hog slaughter plant June 1. Employees and hog industry officials knew the plant was closing but didn’t think it would happen so fast.

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