From the Archives: Winnipeg Grain Exchange plans beef futures market

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: June 25, 1942

Farming was exempted from a federal order that required workers in most sectors of the economy to receive government approval before changing jobs. It was part of an effort to better manage the labour force during wartime, which could eventually see the government transfer workers to different sectors if they were needed.

The Western Canada Stock Growers’ Association rejected compulsory rail grading at its annual meeting in Lethbridge. Proponents had argued that the old system didn’t benefit producers and that three years of compulsory beef grading in Vancouver had significantly increased beef quality.

50 years ago: June 29, 1967

An official from the Winnipeg Grain Exchange attempted to convince skeptical cattle producers that the exchange was on the right track as it made plans to open a beef futures market in 1968. However, J.E. McCannel told a livestock day in Kenosee Lake, Sask., that the success of such a venture would ultimately be up to them. “If there isn’t a climate of acceptance for this type of marketing, it’s doomed from the start,” he said.

Egg and poultry associations and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture pleaded with the federal government to help egg farmers facing “current disastrously low prices.” They recommended a government purchase program, temporary import regulations or both.

25 years ago: June 25, 1992

Canada agreed to sell Russia an additional one million tones of grain, despite concerns about the country’s ability to repay its growing foreign debt. The sale, which was agreed to during a visit by Russian President Boris Yeltsin to Ottawa, was expected to strain and possibly exceed the $1.5 billion line of credit with the Canadian Wheat Board.

It appeared likely that Prince Rupert Grain Ltd. would handle a record volume of grain in 1991-92 and possibly even exceed five million tonnes. The terminal, which was originally built to ship 3.5 million tonnes a year, had handled more than 4.3 million tonnes in the first 45 weeks of the crop year.

10 years ago: June 28, 2007

The Intercontinental Exchange announced plans to buy the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange, but farmers didn’t seem worried about the purchase. “I don’t think it really matters,” said Bruce Algernon of Newdale, Man. “If they’re going to keep it in Winnipeg and keep the contracts going, I don’t see that it matters who exactly owns it.”

At least five tornadoes touched down in southwestern Manitoba on the evening of June 23, leaving trails of devastation but only minor injuries. Two struck between Pipestone and Hartney and three others were confirmed around Minto and northeast of Killarney.

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