Letters to the editor – November 23, 2017

Women ready to participate

Re: Special Report “Getting on Board”

I am a farm-raised woman who resides in southwestern Saskatchewan. I currently grain farm and raise cattle full time.

A special report on women in agricultural governance entitled “Getting on Board” was published in the Nov. 9 issue of The Western Producer. This report states that while almost 30 percent of farm operators in Canada are female, only 12 percent of the board members of organizations with check-off programs on the Prairies are women.

Just prior to this Nov. 9 issue, Kevin Hursh, a regular contributor to The Western Producer, published an opinion piece in the Star Phoenix regarding women’s participation in agriculture. I am concerned by the message promoted by Hursh in that column and by some of the content in the special report in The Western Producer.

In Hursh’s article, he claims that women “just aren’t interested in rural municipal politics or one of the many crop commissions” and furthermore that “many women don’t have the time, or that isn’t where their interests and/or priorities lie.”

These statements are not only inaccurate but also dangerous, as they allow people like Hursh to overlook the barriers that exclude women from decision-making in agriculture and instead, encourage individuals in power to maintain gender disparity with impunity.

In The Western Producer Special Report, Kevin Bender, the chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission, suggests that farm women are not real farmers but instead play a support role on the farm.

Actually, women hold diverse positions on farms in Western Canada, ranging from meal maker and part runner to agronomist, grass manager, water and soil specialist, grain marketer and machine operator. Any one of these women is eligible for a position in agricultural governance.

Any one of these women is a farmer. It is not Bender’s responsibility to decide what women do on prairie farms or whether or not a woman can contribute to a board in a meaningful way. Women can determine their capacities for themselves.

It is time for the leaders in agriculture to see the absence of women for what it is — a gender discrimination that restricts women from owning and operating farm businesses and prevents women from directing the course of one of the most important industries in this country.

We need to examine this problem and work together to get the gender balance of primary producers and of agricultural boards up to an even split. If we acknowledge that women hold diverse perspectives and priorities, we must also realize that decision-making without them is like steering a boat with only one rudder.

As an effort towards becoming an anti-discriminatory organization, my suggestion to agricultural organizations is that they make a board-level resolution to have women fill 30 percent, if not 50 percent, of their board positions.

It will be easy for these boards to achieve gender parity and excellence at the same time as there are so many amazing women working in agriculture. We are at the Women in Agriculture events, so it will be easy to find us.

We are here. We are ready. We are waiting.

Karlah Rae Rudolph,
Gull Lake, Sask.

Province needs STC

A recent letter I received from Premier Brad Wall’s office stating that, “In the last three elections we promised not to privatize the Crown corporations.  We have listened.  Bill 40 will be repealed.”

However, only a portion of Bill 40 was repealed.  The part that allows for the destruction of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company was left intact.

In the last three elections, Wall also promised to maintain the operation of STC.  Why is this election promise being ignored?

With STC in operation, private carriers had to align their freight charges with STC rates.  STC rates were charged according to the weight of the item and the size of the item.  Private carriers charged according to weight, size, and distance.

Without STC in operation,  private carriers are free to charge inflated rates for freight to all customers, including government departments. Blood services,  lab tests, water tests, library books and the transportation of social services clients, cancer patients, mental health clients — how many government departments are paying the private carriers?

The Sask Party and Wall have set up a system that directly subsidizes private carriers at unknown costs using taxpayers’ money.

I would suggest that the real subsidy paid to maintain STC is comparable to what is now being given as a direct gift to private carriers.  With these “gifts” being filtered through government departments,  the taxpayer has no way of finding out the true cost of the loss of STC.

STC provided safe, reliable, efficient transportation of freight and passengers.

That is something the private system cannot replicate.  That needs to be provided to all citizens of Saskatchewan through a government-subsidized transportation system.  It makes good economic sense.

Give STC back to the people of Saskatchewan.

L.E. Reimer 
North Battleford, Sask. 


  • John Fefchak

    re: Letter by Karla Rae Rudolf…. Women ready to participate.

    I whole heartedly agree. Women do have a role, a very important role on the farm and elsewhere.
    I grew upon a farm in the late 30’s and know how hard the womenfolk worked to put food on the table, tending to livestock, doing chores and raising a family, without the benefits of hydro power and the nice conveniences that are available to-day.
    In the early years of WW2, and Canada with a population of some 8 million, it was the women folk who rallied to work in factories, and take on the jobs needed for the war effort. They enlisted in the military, as nurses, pilots, instructors, or wherever the need was; for many of the men had left and gone to war on behalf of Canada.
    Yes, women made a big difference in the settlement of our nation, and they are here, they are ready to continue, and do more.

    • Harold

      I get a little frustrated with all of the social engineering that is present today that is creating all of our grief in the name of something good. I believe that you are close to my age and if so you can remember a much happier society when we didn’t have all of these talking intellectual bobble heads telling us their truths and creating their programs and us abiding to them. We are not people any more, we are programmed people and robotic in thought, and men are unhappy and women are unhappy and children are unhappy and depression is pandemic. Social engineering caused the battle of the sexes and etc. .
      In my era, the spirit of a person did the work – not the gender. If you wanted to identify the holder of that working spirit it was a woman or it was a man. Both spirits helped each other. After this fact what the hell does anybody need to know. You have a MAN and a Womb-MAN . Both are MAN and man kind. Mankind: have we never heard this word before? Nobody knew its meaning? One man’s biology supports a womb and the other man’s biology supports the obvious. The bible describes it as another man – made from a rib – for the definition of a womb–man – a man – made in kind – mankind. We are so involved with program’s created by the mentally bankrupt, their titles, and their words, and rhetoric, that we can no longer see the live person in front of us – only the church that they believe in. MAN and WOMBMAN; does this simple understanding self-direct everyone or do we need some talking bobble head and his opinion for guidance. You have MAN and WombMan , do I need to tell you of their rights or do you already know. You have Man and WombMan do I need to tell you about gay rights or do you already know. You have Man and Man do I need to tell you about wages or do you already know. You have man and man do I need to tell you about harm or do you already know. Is there any thing in that mankind that I need to explain to you or do you already know. Man and Wombman, do I need to tell you my expert opinion of how to treat your wife? No, everyone on the planet will show me the door even you wife, and that is what truth does to the talking bobbleheads. Look at all of the turmoil over a word and description missing in Webster’s dictionary. How convenient for the talking bobbleheads and their total unrest that they create. The word wombman would close their tents and send them home.

      • John Fefchak

        What did I do to deserve this ? When all I intended to was support the role and importance of women.
        Sorry about your little frustrations.

        • Harold

          It is very difficult for me to project my true tone and intent in writing as it is for others texting on their phones. Often times people are apologizing and saying “that is not what I meant”. This is further compounded by us not knowing each other personally – that light is not there. I cannot possibly know how you will perceive anything that I write to alter any word to suit you. Your response gave me what I could not know. I can assure you John that I have respect for you; you were not the issue; the problems are, and were, and I was only pointing at the problem, and you my friend, standing beside me looking at it too, and that was my perspective; both of us standing there looking under the hood at the problem. I have trust in your intent because of all your past comments are focused upon correcting injustice and not the intent of tearing anyone down – only the cause. Why did you “deserve this”? Because you and I are both friends in intent and age. Looking under the hood, what I see is women are the only solution and they are not the problem, and men are the only solution and they are not the problem. What was meant to empower both (programs)- has in fact taken the power from them, and their power given over to the State or program. You will notice that I was supporting woman and man and in fact was on your side, mans side, and woman’s side, and pointing at what is tearing us all apart in society. My reference to your time past is the remembrance of a time past that we both lived and others did not. This is the reason why I directed my comment to you. I cannot expect a younger person to understand an “air” of the past that they did not breathe that balances you and I, and neither can you from a younger person. You know the youth – the youth does not know the grandfather. A self directing thought? Not for the youth. My “frustrations” are only “little” ones if you want to call the grief that all women suffer and all men suffer “little” ones”. You will notice that had you not taken my comment personally, the intent was to free all people and in fact self-empower people to become self-directed instead of being directed by others and State. I made reference to you not listening to me and showing me the door to boot me out. I was attempting to show how a dictionary word does this. The application of the word self empowers and self directs each person, man and woman, and on the lips of each, corrects the very problem naturally and unified as much the same as there is no man or woman who needs guidance that murder is wrong, their is no gender relevancy, they are all singular individuals, all singular and self empowered yet all without gender are united. Remove the ugly word gender and we all become equal and self directed in equality. Man and man with a backpack. Man and WombMan. It would be an ordinary self directed understanding that the man free of should help the man with the packsack and its weight. Word altering is mind altering. (abundant evidence – and is also done by the corrupt) Who am I supporting? Who are you supporting? What did you do to disserve this? What we are setting out to do – disserves this – and I disserved your comment in turn. You know that I am an advocate for peoples rights and freedoms and self empowerment and a self directed nature by my past comments- trust that. Does my comment build strength in people or does it take strength away from them? The program’s that we are engaged in are sucking the life out of men and every man knows this in their soul and even though the programs were promising women happiness, following that programme the women have become fierce and battling against their own kind and nature and battling men, yet feeling weaker, discontent and unhappy and they know this in their soul. Women are now enemy’s of women – and gender the cause, and men are now enemies of men – and gender the cause. Remove gender and neither have cause. The programs are a cause to fight – for glory and the glory – is the fight – and glorifying a fight only, and is proven to be nothing more. Your past youth is the vision of this or it is not. I am pointed to the problem and not pointed at you. Thanks for your comment.

          • John Fefchak

            From one “ole timer to another “ole time” Thanks for the explanation and setting me straight. Much appreciated.
            Yes, both you and I remember a much happier and better society, and it makes me sad that the people of to-day and our modern world will never know and appreciate what we had and enjoyed in our youth.

          • Happy Farmer

            Generation after generation has said exactly that-“in the old days it was better”. Same theme, repeated over and over.
            Yet, change continues. And each time the theme is repeated. Sad, I don’t think so!
            Change is a reality. The most successful and happy older people I have known embraced change. Yes, they reminisce about bygone days but don’t waste a lot of time trying to go backwards. The saddest and most cynical older people I have known are the ones still trying to live in the past.
            Complex and yet simple, don’t you think?

          • Harold

            It all depends on what you are looking at doesn’t it? . If you are thinking that kindness and respect for one another has increased with time then you are sadly mistaken. If you are thinking that the automobile was a good replacement for the horse and carriage well then time has yielded improvements. How do you know where you are going to – if you don’t know where you are coming from? The past is not meant to live – it is a cancelled cheque. The past is the reference to where you are going. If you don’t know history then you don’t know where you are going or where you are being led to. When John and I reminisce in history we know to where we have been led. John and I remember an era when men stood as a lady entered a room and men sat only after the lady was properly seated. John and I remember an era when men took off their hats in respect when talking to a women. John and I came from an era wherein disrespect of any woman was not allowed by any man in any room. You said – sad, you don’t think so.
            Demands – real or fake – are the changes to any given reality. A reality does not change upon its own. Quit farming and your reality changes and your history is where you have come from and the future is where you are going and history defines that future. You lived in the past – you don’t live the past. For this I would question your ability to understand the “cynical” or happy “older people.”
            Has war ever ended or just the tools of war gotten much better? Is anyone living in the past? We all are – and further back than the biblical times. Is this too complex? A spear exchanged for a machine gun? Different minds or just the same minds with different tools? What “theme” did you think that John and I were speaking of and what “theme” did you think that my dad was talking about? His dislike for the automobile and new phone service? The mechanics of corruption have not changed regardless of what era we come from or are in and the same mechanics of corruption will be available to all of the future generations regardless of their tools or inventions. Man has not changed; just the tools that they carry have. Is this simple or can the complex repetition of the same explain it better? Are the Corporate adhering to the bible or just you are? Was that not of 2000 years ago? Taking your own advice, you should quit living in the past and where does that get you? Is Christmas not about reliving a past? What could Easter mean? What does living in the past mean? How much of the past has been cancelled in favor of adopting something new? It all depends on where you are looking doesn’t it? Same old bible – different plow. Which one is worth more? History or the plow?

          • Harold

            If we would have preserved decency at all costs, this generation would have breathed the same air as we did. The talking bobble heads and their social programs and agenda have taken the breath from our children and the breath from us as they are doing today – taking the breath away from each gender and neither are happy and in conflict. Does a true leader cause war amongst their own people in their wake? No. only one bent on destroying a society – and destroying it they are. This has nothing to do with our equipment and equipment advancement – this has everything to do with the mind of the one holding the new equipment. We don’t speak anymore – we rage – and that has not been the publics intent or doing; it is the doing of the agendas of social engineering and their bobble heads. Dividing society into fractions of what they once were makes the agenda and bobble head seem important and they are not. Diversity is divisive – it is to divide, yet all hunger, all thirst, all feel pain, all need wealth, all need heat/energy, all need education, all get sick at times, and who is telling us that we need diversity and race baiting, when we are all united and are each seeking the very same things. Diversity is the talk of the bobble-head. Chinese food is not diversity – it is a food cooking style and a new recipe and it is added to a cook book. Chinese food is a value that is added to our economy. It is not diversity, it is not a race, it not a human, it is a product and if that product moves, then and the same time, there is an increase to our economy and the maker of that product receives the wealth. Every human is united and seeks the very same thing. There are no races – there are only people with ability regardless of where they come from or their gender. There are also people who are evil and they are vacuums – they are not race, they are not gender, they are human and they are people. The bobble head is content to confuse us all to make the bobble head seem to be more important. Any time a human is not self-directed, that human is in the presence or under the influence of the vacuum. The vacuum sucking the life out of us or urging us to follow in a vacuum have to be recognized for who they are. That is what I see “under the hood”.


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