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: Aug. 20, 1942
The dominion government rejected a recommendation from a local committee in Saskatchewan to cap the wages of harvest workers.
The recommendation had been made the previous week to consider $3 a day for stooking and cutting and $4 for threshing as “fair-going” wages.
Frank Eliason, secretary of United Farmers of Canada (Saskatchewan Section) said it would be difficult for farmers to build granaries, maintain a decent standard of living and support schools and other social services if the dominion government did not provide credit based on grain already stored in approved on-farm granaries.
50 years ago: Aug. 24, 1967
Nine members of a farm family near Shell Lake, Sask., were murdered Aug. 15. It was one of the worst mass killings in Canadian history. Victor Ernest Hoffman, described as a 21-year-old farmer from Leask, Sask., was charged with shooting James and Evelyn Peterson and seven of their children. He was eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity and spent the rest of his life in mental institutions, dying in 2004.
The first country elevator built by Saskatchewan Wheat Pool was about to be replaced, becoming an annex of a new 95,000 bushel facility to be built beside it. The elevator in Bulyea was officially opened July 1, 1925.
25 years ago: Aug. 20, 1992
Canada, the United States and Mexico signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, and farmers seemed happy. The country kept the import restrictions, price supports and production quotas on which supply management was based and received guarantees to sell grain and oilseeds into a large and growing Mexican market.
The Progressive Conservative opposition in Saskatchewan worried that Sask Pool was becoming too cosy with the provincial NDP government.
The accusation came after the government hired Nial Kuyek, a former executive assistant to pool president Garf Stevenson, as a senior planning adviser for agriculture.
10 years ago: Aug. 23, 2007
Crop prices took a hit as they got caught in a stock market decline caused by the sub-prime mortgage crisis in the United States.
A market adviser said it was far too early to assume that this short-term weakness was anything more than a financial blip as far as crop prices were concerned, but the world didn’t yet know it was at the beginning of what would become known as the Great Recession.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper named Gerry Ritz as his new agriculture minister. The Saskatchewan MP would go on to dominate the national agriculture scene for the next eight years.