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: Jan. 9, 1941
The University of Saskatchewan’s farm management department published a 62-page farm account book that was “by far the best farm account book which has yet to come to this writer’s attention.” The book was definitely needed, according to the article. “It has been almost impossible to get hold of a farm account book which provides necessary instructions and is thoroughly adapted for use on Canadian farms.” It was compiled by E.C. Hope and Hadley VanVliet.
The Western Producer reported that A.B. Young of the Hel-O-Lynn Stock Farm of Unity, Sask., had purchased “an exceptionally well bred young boar” from Hooker Bros., which were noted Yorkshire swine breeders from Ormiston, Que. “Mr. Young’s new herd header is Ranche Leader 262 U 219577, sired by Orchard Valley Sardis 41R 1900170 and out of Ranche Bess 234 S 200450.”
50 years ago: Jan. 6, 1966
C.S. Fisher, manager of Saskatchewan Wheat Pool’s flour mill and vegetable and vegetable oil plant in Saskatoon who was just back from a trip to Britain, reported that new mass production baking techniques in Britain and the United States could revolutionize the production of bread wheat on the Prairies in the next 10 years. The main change would be less reliance on high gluten strength that was obtained from the hard red spring wheat for which the Prairies was known.
Sasks Pool ran a job ad looking to hire someone to analyze seed for purity and germination and to perform some routine clerical work at its farm service centre in Moose Jaw. The ad was headlined: Seed Analyst (male or female).
25 years ago: Jan. 10, 1991
Prairie agriculture ministers and federal agriculture minister Don Mazankowski agreed on a cost sharing formula to fund a new farm safety net program. The proposed new program would be called the Gross Revenue Insurance Plan, or GRIP.
A task force appointed by the federal government to review the canola industry was expected to recommend keeping the open market system for selling the crop.
Task force member Alex Graham, president of Prairie Pools Inc., said he felt like a “lone voice in the wilderness” because the option of central desk selling never had a chance, considering who had been appointed to the committee. “When you’ve got the chairman of the Winnipeg Commodity Ex-change sitting at the table, he’s not very interested in talking about the potential of single desk selling,” Graham said. Prairie Pools had wanted canola marketing to be put under the Canadian Wheat Board or some other centralized marketing agency.
10 years ago: 2005
Prairie hog producers, still smarting from the recent announcement of a duty on U.S. corn imports, were relieved to hear that the duty wouldn’t be imposed on corn used to feed hogs bound for export. “We are going to apply for a Manitoba-wide exemption on this duty because we export a larger percentage of pork than we import feed used,” said Karl Kynoch, chair of the Manitoba Pork Council.
Prime minister Paul Martin admitted on the campaign trail Dec. 20 that his Liberal government had been offering inadequate farm support programs. “We’ll work on the design and we’ll have a new design in place in 2006,” he said. He never got the chance. The election was a month away.