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. 31, 1940
University of Saskatchewan professor K.W. Gordon challenged young farmers to start a campaign to solve agricultural problems. He urged them to take a scientific approach to their profession and learn everything they could about how to improve their fields. The proper cultivation of the land and the protection of this Canadian asset was part of the business of protecting democracy, he added.
Alberta sheep breeders were warned against expanding their industry too rapidly. Instead, they should concentrate on quality, W.S. Benson, the western representative of the Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers’ Association, told the breeders’ meeting in Calgary.
50 years ago: Oct. 28, 1965
Saskatchewan Wheat Pool directors expressed concern over “the apparent inability of Canada’s grain handling system to meet export targets for the 1965-66 crop year.” SWP terminals could have handled 20 to 25 percent more grain since Aug. 1 if boxcars had been available, they said during a tour of its terminal at the Lakehead.
Former Progressive Conservative agriculture minister Alvin Hamilton from Saskatchewan chastised the prairie wheat pools for not making an effort to sell wheat.
“The big pools, which were formed to sell wheat, don’t sell a bushel,” he said.
“They just sit there and collect storage.”
25 years ago: Nov. 1, 1990
Applications for interest free cash advances went from a trickle to a flood in late October. The Canadian Wheat Board had re-ceived 8,000 applications for cash advances between Aug. 1 and Oct. 18, but then the federal government made the advances interest free again under pressure from farm groups, and applications jumped to 1,700 a day Oct. 22 and Oct. 23 and close to 2,000 Oct. 24. Ottawa had said the interest free loans were no longer needed because farmers didn’t use them.
Alberta Wheat Pool’s net earnings dropped to $5.91 million from $13.3 million the previous year.
The co-operative planned a “line by line” examination of its finances.
10 years ago: Oct. 27, 2005
Concerns about a potential avian flu outbreak forced the cancellation of an international bird show at FarmFair International in Edmonton. Organizers were under pressure from heightened media attention, the public and Alberta’s chicken producers as the deadly virus wreaked havoc in Asia and made an appearance in Europe.
Percy Schmeiser, the Bruno, Sask., farmer who had recently lost a high profile court case to Monsanto over illegal production of Roundup Ready canola, was now accusing the company of again allowing volunteer Roundup Ready canola plants to grow in his fields.