Vote on Manitoba farm group merger looms

Manitoba farmers can help give birth to the Manitoba Crops alliance during CropConnect planned for Feb. 12-13.

Or they can help bury the proposed five-organization merger if they don’t like the idea.

Regardless, growers are encouraged to show up for the five crop groups’ annual meetings held during the convention to vote on the amalgamation.

Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association President Fred Greig thanked critics of the original proposal for sending designers back to the drawing board.

“We reworked the governance and structure of the board and I think we have a significantly better organization,” said Greig.

The groups that have been working on the merger idea are Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers, Manitoba Flax Growers, National Sunflower Association of Canada, Winter Cereals Manitoba and Manitoba Corn Growers.

To pass, two thirds of voters of each organization need to approve it.

For farmers unsure about the proposal, a recording of an earlier webinar is available at www.mbcrops.ca.

The organizations pushing for the amalgamation say that comparatively tiny organizations like theirs would benefit from being able to pool professional staff and share other resources. It would also remove some of the insecurity from organization funding, since a broader basket of crops would be less likely to see dramatic expansions and contractions in acreage-based funding than some have faced in the past.

Research funding could also be better focused and information provided to farmers, proponents say.

Anybody can attend the crop group general meetings without needing to register for CropConnect, if that is the only portion of CropConnect they attend.

Contact ed.white@producer.com

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