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Wednesday, 27 November 2013 13:31

Grain elections an interesting contrast

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With the elections for the new wheat and barley commissions looming, I decided to give all of the candidate biographies a read. I noticed an interesting contrast.

There are many candidates for both commissions that are very clear about where they stand on the important issues of maintaining public plant breeding and ensuring farmers maintain the right to save their seed. Others fail to mention these crucial points and cloud their positions with ambiguous language and talking points.
These are farmer organizations and those elected to serve should be putting farmers first. Some candidates seem very comfortable about cozying up further to the agri-business giants that make their billions off of farmers.
Others are clear in saying farmers must come ahead of industry.
The privatization of Canadian agriculture is almost complete. We have no orderly marketing, no publicly owned facilities and the federal government has gutted the public plant breeding system. These elections are a chance for those farmers who recognize the value of publicly funded research to make their voices heard and work to stop the destruction of a hundred year legacy of public plant breeding.
Do not let wheat and barley seed go the route of canola. Do not elect candidates that would like to see us paying exorbitant prices for seed that we cannot save to plant again the year after.
Read the candidate biographies closely and ensure your votes go to candidates who will work to put farmers before industry.
Leo Howse, Porcupine Plain, Sask.

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