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: Oct. 23, 1941
Wage and price controls announced by the dominion government included an extension of the cost-of-living bonus policy for wage earners and additional aid to farmers: further acreage bonuses for wheat growers in the West and free transportation for western feed in the East.
H.H. Hannam, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, called the agricultural measures “poor compensation for the injustice of the many times more vital economic inequality clamped down on farmers in this price-fixing scheme.”
The Saskatchewan section of United Farmers of Canada asked the province’s commercial co-operatives for a $5,000 grant to fund an intensive membership drive. The organization faced a financial crisis that threatened its immediate future.
50 years ago: Oct. 20, 1966
A Canadian senator told the federal Liberal convention that the cabinet minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board should take as much credit as possible for wheat sales.
“Wheat sales should be publicized with the greatest amount of fanfare for the greatest potential effect,” said senator A.H. McDonald. Saskatchewan Wheat Pool president Charles Gibbings didn’t appreciate the senator’s comments, saying they threatened the independence of the wheat board.
Liberal delegates were debating whether to move responsibility for the wheat board to the agriculture minister from the finance minister.
R.D. Crawford, a poultry scientist at the University of Saskatchewan, said raising Japanese quail for meat and egg production could be a profitable enterprise for someone fond of birds.
The university maintained a colony of the birds for research purposes.
25 years ago: Oct. 24, 1991
Fifty Alberta farm groups met with premier Don Getty, agriculture minister Ernie Isley and associate agriculture minister Shirley McLennan to talk about the farm crisis, but producers left the meeting unsatisfied.
“(It was) just another farm rally that was more controlled and structured,” said Peter Edgar, vice-president of the Western Barley Growers Association. He called the meeting a waste of his time.
Meanwhile, farm leaders expected most of the $800 million in promised federal relief payments to be mailed to producers by mid-December.
“I think you can count on 85 to 90 percent being paid out before Christmas,” said Jim Robbins of the National Farmers Union.
10 years ago:
Maple Leaf Foods not only announced it was no longer planning to build a $110 million slaughter plant in Saskatoon but that it would also close its existing plant in the city within three years. Sask-atchewan hog producers were left reeling.
World wheat prices staged a spectacular rally, shooting up $1 a bushel since mid-September on U.S. futures contracts.
The increase took prices back to nominal levels not seen since 1995-96.