Updates 2011-2012

For a quick review of the current week's activites. latest news and any upcoming events, click here

Please feel free to contact Brenda McBride in the office at 789-7774 ext 111 between the hours of 8:00am and 4:30pm.

March 2012

Feb 27-Mar 02

On Monday, Policy Manager Doug Faller worked on the draft report from the Forum on the Transition Issues related to Bill-C18 which was held in early February in Saskatoon. APAS will be submitting the final draft to the Crops Logistics Working Group as well as sending copies to stakeholder groups and Federal and Provincial Ministers.

On Tuesday, CGC answered the question: How do customers in international markets learn about the quality of Canada's pulse crops? The answer: Through the Canadian Grain Commission's annual harvest and export quality reports. Harvest quality reports are now available for western Canadian chick peas, peas, pea beans and lentils at www.grainscanada.gc.ca.

On Wednesday, the Food Safety and Environment Committee met in Regina while the District Five Reps met in Watrous for a district level Member Recruitment Meeting,

On Wednesday, Sask Agriculture announced that the March 2012 issue of Agrivew is now available online. AgriView is Saskatchewan Agriculture's primary communications vehicle, for producers, providing production information, highlighting agricultural issues and activities occurring in the province's agriculture sector.

Thursday morning, Policy Manager Doug Faller was in Saskatoon to attend the Economic Trade and Strategic Growth Committee and Livestock Committee meetings.

Finally this week, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Branch is working with the independent chartered accountants and business advisory firm MNP LLP to conduct an independent review of beef, feed and forage research and development activities in Saskatchewan. MNP is currently gathering input from key stakeholders for this review and is seeking to gather input from producers via the above-mentioned survey.  All information will be provided directly to MNP and will be kept confidential. The Saskatchewan Beef, Feed and Forage Research and Development Review Producer Survey will be closing on March 5, 2012.

This is a reminder that if you have not already submitted a survey to please do so before March 5. Your opinions are very important!  Your input provided through this survey will help shape the recommendations to improve the value producers receive from research and development activities.

The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Please visit the following website to take the survey:http://take-survey.com/SKMNP/saskbeefsurvey.htm. If you have any questions or would prefer a paper version of the survey, please contact Stephanie Bell, MNP at 1-306-664-8302 or stephanie.bell@mnp.ca

Mar 5-9

The weeks activites revolved around rprparations for the Sarm 2012 Convention starting next week.

March 12-16

APAS is at Sarm 2012 this week meeting with member and non member RMs and highlighting the value of the myRM program.

Certain fees and charges paid by provincial residents will see changes over 2012-13, in order to reflect the cost of related provincial services.

The changes will add approximately $3.51 million to the General Revenue Fund (GRF) in 2012-13. Approximately $1.18 million will also be raised to assist in recovering the cost of services provided by the Pastures Revolving Fund, Livestock Services Revolving Fund and the Saskatchewan Financial Services Commission for the upcoming fiscal year.

The attached document provides details including ministries/agencies and contact information.

March 19-24

This week, the pending Viterra sale is all the news this week. We are currently  researching the issue and will respond once we have a clear picture of the various arrangements and the resulting changes and impact to the ag industry.

APAS Director, Shawn Borgeois offered up this take on the issue:

When we buy a used car, we like to take a look at what’s available in the market, determine fair price between vendor and purchaser. Shake hands.  Done.  With Glencore’s recent purchase of Viterra, it begs the question: what gives on their version of fair price? 

For the last three years Viterra has been range bound between eight and twelve dollars per share.  Their performance as a company is no secret [insert my weak reference to buying a car].  Why the 48% premium?  Cargill walks around, kicks the tires, and suggests: $13, $14, $14.5 tops!  Not a penny more!  ADM notes the chips in the paint from the recent Agricore race, however sees plenty of traction available in the slightly oversized tires.  $15.5:  let’s make a deal!  Not good enough.  Viterra thinks it’s worth 16.25, a 48% premium over what she was advertised for before the media got a hold of this juicy story.

Enter Glencore, the world’s largest commodity trader.  Glencore takes a slightly different approach.  Glencore realizes they don’t make cars that can get around like this anymore.  Furthermore; Glencore believes, perhaps in a few years, $16.25 will seem cheap.

The Glencore purchase of Viterra gives us several reasons to take pause and think of why this happened and what it means.  I think we heard all of the responses we might anticipate in a deal like this: concerns for protecting prairie jobs, keeping the head office in Regina, issues of market dominance, with CWB monopoly gone all of our grain handlers are now fair game for take-over, and selling out of another home-grown Canadian global company to a much larger global company.

I think all of these concerns hold some merit.  However, is there a much bigger point to be made here?  Is agriculture and its ‘soft commodities’ playing catch-up in an increasingly demand rich and supply scarce world?  This seems to be Glencore’s position.   Does the Glencore deal give you confidence in our sector?  It should.  The question remains; who’s next? Better yet, what’s next?

How would you like the next twenty years to unfold in our sector?  Should we be concerned about investment capital scooping up large amounts of productive prairie land?  Many of you undoubtedly have first-hand knowledge of these transactions. Do you feel land is becoming nearly unattainable in your area at these current commodity prices?  Is it getting priced on investment speculation vs. production speculation?  With funding being cut in many departments in all levels of government, especially research, does this mean a further surrender on plant breeding rights to companies like Bayer Crop Science, Monsanto, Richardson, Glencore, etc.?  If we prefer to invest in the latest seed technology, will we be bound to buying it from a specific retailer every season with specific marketing restrictions?  What about our Rail-cap?  Producer Cars?

 

Strength in a sector is often good.  Good production in a strong sector is better.  However, let’s not allow better times distract us when selling our hard earned and cared for assets to the most eager bidder.  After all, in a few years, we may look back and realize we were selling a rare Mercedes for the price of an old used car.

 

Shawn Bourgeois, Director, District #2 APAS

On Tuesday, APAS and the U of S announced a series fo three public seminars entitled:

UNDERSTANDING AND ADAPTING TO THE NEW CEREAL GRAINS MARKETING ENVIRONMENT.

The seminars will take place between April 2 and 4 in Melfort, Yorkton and Swift Current. For more info, click HERE

March 26-30

Monday and Tuesday were largely spent preparing for next week's meetings in Melfort,Yorkton and Swift Current.

On Tuesday the ALUS PAC met in Indian Head.

The Board of Directors was in Regina on Wednesday and Thursday to participate in the Director's Meeting.

On Thursday, the Canadian Press reported that the provincial government wants to know how a proposed takeover of grain handler Viterra by a Swiss company will affect the province. The government is reviewing the $6.1-billion deal that would see Viterra  acquired by Glencore International - although reports have indicated that much of the business would remain in Canadian hands.

Premier Brad Wall says the review will look at employment, the impact on competition and the effect on the province's economy and revenues. The government is to get the report from Informa Economics Inc. by May 7 and make it public a few days later.

During the month of March, a letter and brochures on the $2012 for 2012 program was mailed to all non-member RMs.  APAS welcomes the following new members who have joined for 2012 – Souris Valley #7, Tecumseh #65, Rocanville #151, Indian Head #156, Elmsthorpe #100, Lake Johnston #102, Gravelbourg #104, Preeceville #334, Bjorkdale #426, Lake Manitou #442 and Willowcreek #458.

February 2012

Jan 30- Feb 3

Policy Manager Doug Faller was in Ottawa this week attending the CFIA Industry Outreach Sessions on Inspection Modernization

Other office activities this week revolved around preparations for the Feb 8/9 Forum in Saskatoon and the continued development of myRm.ca.

Feb 6-10

On Monday, President Norm Hall was in Regina for an Executive Committee Meeting and a dinner meeting with Nigel Simms of Delta Waterfowl. 

On Tuesday, Field Representative Bruce Dodds attended meetings with RMs of Argyle #1 and Brock # 64.

On Tuesday afternoon, President Hall met with Ministry of Environment officials.

On Wednesday, Field Representative Bruce Dodds attended a Meeting with the RM of Browning #34.

On Wednesday and Thursday, APAS executive and staff were in Saskatoon to coordinate the Forum on the Transition Issues related to Bill-C18. Thank you to the following Producer Groups  who shared their concerns and solutions in an honest and open exchange of ideas.

 

Thank you to the invited observers for your active participation and expert opinions:

 

We regret that the following invited groups were unable or chose not to participate:

The final report from the Forum will be shared with all participants before being  sent to the Crops Logistics Working Group and other stakeholder groups.

On Thursday, Field Representative Bruce Dodds attended meetings with with the RMs of Silverwood  #123 and Hazelwood  #94.

On Friday, President Norm Hall spent a number of hours talking to media about the Forum's results and the next steps that will be undertaken to deliver the results to the Crops Logistics Working Group. 

Feb 13-17

On Monday, Policy Manager Doug Faller was reviewing  the notes from last week's Forum in order to complete the formal submission to the Crops Logistics Working Group. Communications Manager Aj Thakker continues to be busy building and transferring administration of APAS Member RM's myRM.ca websites.  

On Tuesday, APAS will attend meetings with RMs of McLeod #185, Antler #61 and Mount Pleasant #279.

On Wednesday, there will be a special meeting of the ALUS PAC in Indian Head.  

The BOD will attend a Directors Meeting on Thursday, Feb 16, 2012.

Feb 20-24

The APAS office was closed on Monday, Feb 20 in recognition of Family Day. APAS executive did take advantage of the provincial holiday to travel to WInnipeg enroute to the CFA AGM in Ottawa later this week.

President Norm Hall, VPs Arlynn Kurtz and Todd Lewis and Policy Manager Doug Faller are in Ottawa this week attending the CFA AGM. (Click HERE for more info on the CFA meeting). While In Ottawa , the Executive will be meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and the Ag Critic for the Official Opposition.

On Tuesday, APAS was asked to share the news that Guelph-based The Savvy Farmer Inc. has  announced the launch of Savvy Farmer lite, a FREE version of its popular Savvy Farmer software.

First launched in 2011, Savvy Farmer is already trusted by many farmers, agricultural retailers, custom applicators, agronomists, and government across Canada as the #1 source of unbiased pest control information. This new service “was created in response to farmers who want quick and easy access to pest control information but do not feel they need the added features found within the full Savvy Farmer paid software,” Savvy Farmer president Warren Libby said in a release.

Savvy Farmer Lite can be accessed at www.savvyfarmerlite.com while information on all the Savvy Farmer softwares can be found at www.savvyfarmer.com

On Wednesday, the Federal and Provincial Governments announced RECORD COVERAGE FOR 2012 CROP INSURANCE PROGRAM.

According to the Provincial Ministry press release, the 2012 Provincial Crop Insurance budget is at a record high of $177 million. Coverage levels are increasing to a record high $174 per acre, on average. Since 2008, Crop Insurance has introduced the five largest budgets and highest coverage levels in the program's history.

New in 2012, producers will have the option to supplement the Unseeded Acreage Benefit of $70 per eligible acre by purchasing either $15 or $30 per acre in additional coverage. In addition, the Unseeded Acreage Benefit calculation has also been simplified.

Crop Insurance will now also provide coverage to commercial fruit growers for the replacement of Saskatoon bushes, dwarf sour cherry and haskap fruit trees.

Yield cushioning is also being extended to include forage crops. This feature limits the impact of consecutive poor growing seasons, such as excess moisture or drought, on a producer's coverage level.

In 2012 establishment benefit values will also increase from $20 to $25 per acre for oats, canary seed, fall rye, spring rye and triticale.

Overall, this year's Crop Insurance Program will provide more options and improved coverage for producers. As a result, there will be no AgriRecovery program for weather-related disasters in 2012.

The deadline for customers to apply for, make changes to, or cancel their Crop Insurance contract is March 31, 2012. Detailed program and contract information is available at any Crop Insurance office, at www.saskcropinsurance.com or by calling 1-888-935-0000.

Under the Growing Forward Agricultural Policy Framework, Crop Insurance is cost-shared on a 60:40 basis between the Government of Canada and Government of Saskatchewan.

2012

JAnuary 2012

January 2-6

APAS staff were back in the office on Monday morning focusing on preparation for the Crop Production Show next week in Saskatoon and on the 2012 Member Recruitment Drive.

To start the process, new APAS staff person Bruce Dodd assembled the District 1 reps for a meeting in Whitewood early in the week to discuss district recruitment activities.

January 9- 13 

We did it again! APAS 'Took the Pulse of Agriculture' at the 2012 Crop Production Show in Saskatoon. Over 400 participants stopped by to give participate in a survey for the Growing Forward Two consultations APAS is participating in.

This week, APAS Field Representative Bruce Dodds attended meetings with the RM of Moose Mountain #63, RM of Indian Head #156, the RM of Montmartre #126, the RM of Fillmore #96 and the RM of Kingsley #124.

President Norm Hall attended the Crop Production Show, Sask Soil Conservation Association 2012 Conference and then went to Edmonton for the WRAP AGM and Prairie Farm Leaders Meeting.

APAS also attended meetings with the RM of Cymri #36, the RM of Lomond  #37, and  the RM of Reciprocity #32.

January 16-20

Field Representative Bruce Dodds attended meetings with the RM of Souris Valley #7, while General Manager Nial Kuyek was at the RM of Paddockwood #520

Members of the APAS livestock committee attended the Saskatchewan Beef Industry Conference in  Saskatoon.

APAS staff spent much of the week reviewing survey results, mailing draw entry prizes to winners from across Saskatchewan and generally cleaning up from the Crop Production Show in Saskatoon. Significant time was also spent building

On January 19 the Board held a formal meeting in Regina.

Jan 23-27

President Norm Hall is attending the KAP annual meeting in Winnipeg this week.

On Wednesday, District Two representatives met to discuss the district's 2012 for 2012 Member recruitment activities and strategies. On Wednesday evening, General Manager Nial Kuyek attended a ratepayers meeting at the RM of Baildon.

On Thursday, Nial was in Saskatoon attending the ACS Board of Directors Meeting.

On Thursday, APAS sent letters of invitation to a number of grain-related Saskatchewan commodity and farm groups to attend a special forum on February 8 & 9 in Saskatoon to provide input to the Crops Logistics Working Group that is reviewing the transitional issues arising from the implementation of Bill C-18.

This week, Field Representative Bruce Dodds organized a Meeting of Reps in District 6 to discuss a district recruitment strategy.

August 2011

August 29-September 2, 2011

 

On the morning of August 31, 2011, Nial Kuyek and Aj Thakker of APAS and Rob Olson and Jim Fisher of Delta Waterfowl met with three Councilors from the RM of Francis – Jim Vogt (APAS Rep), Ernest Gutzke, and Robert Muir – to discuss their Municipality’s interest in the ALUS Demonstration Project and to encourage their involvement.  It was an excellent discussion and they recommended that we arrange a presentation to their Council to assist with decision making on October 13.    

Later in the day, the Saskatchewan ALUS Demonstration Project Working Group – APAS, Delta Waterfowl, the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds (SAW), and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (SWF) – met to discuss and plan announcement and roll-out of the Project this fall.  A decision on our Go Green funding proposal has not yet been made and the Ministry advises that a decision is at least three weeks away.  It is not clear whether or not we will receive a decision before the provincial election although that remains our hope.  The Working Group discussed options for announcement and roll-out including the above-noted RM meetings and visits of officials of the States of Louisiana and Mississippi.

August 22-26

 

The Symposium co-sponsored by APAS and the Department of Bio-resource Policy, Business, and Economics, University of Saskatchewan, on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 was very successful with 30 speakers and participants in attendance.  APAS was represented by President Greg Marshall and Vice Presidents Don Connick and Arlynn Kurtz with Nial Kuyek, Doug Faller, and Aj Thakker playing facilitation roles.  

The fact that the speakers were the leading experts on these matters in Canada certainly contributed to the success of the Symposium.  Following the morning sessions and the afternoon session with Dr. Gray, participants were divided in to two discussion groups to identify the key impacts, whether potential solutions exist or not, and the priority of the impacts.

 

Greg Marshall and Doug Faller utilized the results of the Symposium in the APAS presentation to the CWB Working Group Subcommittee in Winnipeg on Wednesday, August 24, 2011.    APAS's presentation focused on the grain transportation issues identified by our members and confirmed in the Symposium.

Presentations were also tabled by representatives from the Keystone Agricultural Producers of Manitoba (KAP) and the Wild Rose Agricultural Producers of Alberta (WRAP).

APAS is deepy concerned about the lack of a comprehensive and effective plan for the transition to a post-single desk environment for Canadian wheat and barley.  The grassroots farm group has identified a number of key issues affecting producers, producer-owned terminals, and short-line railways that need to be addressed prior to the 2012 deadline announced by Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Minister Responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, Gerry Ritz.

APAS issued a release on August 26, 2011 outlining the key transition issues that must be addressed that APAS has identified through member discussion and the Transportation Symposium.  

 

August 15-19

Monday morning brought good news as the federal government announced that Canadian livestock breeders now have access to the Vietnamese market for the first time since 2003.

Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz says Vietnam has approved Canadian export health certificates for live cattle, sheep and goats. In 2007, Canada sought access for all beef and cattle based on Canada's risk status as determined by the World Organization for Animal Health. Vietnam has consistently indicated that it would take a phased approach.

 

 

August 8-12

President Greg Marshall and the APAS staff are at a District 4 and 5 Meeting on Monday morning and afternoon. Nial and Greg will travel to Saskatoon on Tuesday to attend a variety of meetings.  

August 2-5, 2011

The APAS office was closed Monday, August 1 in recognition of the civic holiday. 

 

The APAS Executive Committee met on Tuesday, August 2, 2011 for discussion of organizational and policy matters.

President Marshall participated in a tour organized by the Saskatchewan Irrigation Producers Association onWednesday, August 3, 2011.  Greg values the important information that he gained relative to the status and potential of irrigation in Saskatchewan.

A conference call of the ALUS Project Proponents was held on Thursday, August 4, 2011 to evaluate the July 14, 2011 meeting with RMs and to discuss next steps.

On Thursday, APAS celebrated as Ministers Bjornerud and Ritz announced that Federal and provincial governments are once again being provided to support to producers affected by excess moisture on the Prairies. Approximately $448 million in federal-provincial AgriRecovery funding will help farmers and ranchers in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba address challenges caused by excess moisture. Learn More HERE. An official press release was dsitributed to al members and media on Friday, August 5 

July 2011

July 25 – 29

President Greg Marshall and General Manger Nial Kuyek participated in the CFA Semi-annual Meeting in Banff this week where sessions included Committee meetings, discussion of the government’s intention to dismantle the single desk, presentations and discussion on local and sustainable food, the National Food Strategy, Growing Forward 2 and CFA governance.  To learn more, click here.

President Greg Marshall, Vice President Don Connick and General Manager Nial Kuyek met with Bill Martin and Lewis Stringer of the Gravelbourg – Hodgeville Railway in Moose Jaw on July 29, 2011 to discuss their short-line initiative and broader transportation questions relative to the government’s intention to eliminate the single desk in August of 2012.

 


July 18 – 22

The APAS Board of Directors Met by conference call on July 21, 2011 with key agenda items including discussion of the CFA roundtable with Federal/Provincial/Territorial Ministers, APAS Policy on the CWB Plebiscite, a report from the Committee on Member Retention and Recruitment, and APAS recommendations for Business Risk Management within Growing Forward 2.

President Greg Marshall participated in a meeting between Saskatchewan farm leaders and Federal Liberal Leader Bob Rae and Regina Wascana MP Ralph Goodale in Saskatoon on July 22, 2011.  The President also attended the official opening of a new CWB laboratory in Saskatoon that day.

 

July 11 – 15

A meeting to introduce the Alternate Land Use Services (ALUS) demonstration project to candidate RMs was held at Indian Head at the historic Bell Barn on July 14, 2011.  The project proponents were pleased with the participation of 4 RMs – Francis #127, Montmartre #126, Indian Head #156, and South Qu’Appelle #157.  All four project proponents – APAS, Delta Waterfowl, SAW, and the SWF – participated in the meeting providing presentations and leading discussion on the concept of Ecological Goods and Services/Alternate Land Use Services, the evolution of the proposed ALUS demonstration project, how ALUS works, and how the RMs, ratepayers, and local organizations can be involved.  The RMs will consider the project and confirm their interest in involvement in August/September.  Community level meetings to initiate the project could then begin after harvest.

General Manger Nial Kuyek attended a meeting of the Council of the RM of Cana and participated in a conference call with the General Managers of Keystone and Wild Rose Agricultural Producers for discussion and coordination of inter-provincial matters.

July 2-8 

To follow-up with the media tour done by APAS on June 28 regarding unseeded acres in the province, the Leader Post ran the following article on Saturday in regards to the farmer's needing help now. Link

Media bulletin regarding reports seeded and unseeded acres by June 25. Link

The sun continues to shining with periodic thunderstorms around the province.  

This week, President Greg Marshall traveled to St. Andrews by the Sea in New Brunswick for the Federal/ Provincial/Territorial Roundtable discussion between Ministers and CFA and its members.   On Wednesday, the following press release was issued by CFA in regards to the Roundtable discussion and the needs of the National Food Strategy. Press Release  

PLEASE NOTE: The ALUS Meeting is scheduled for July 14 at the Bell Barn in Indian Head. For more information, please call the APAS office at 306-789-7774  

 

June 2011

June 20-24


More rain fall this weekend , flooding more farmland and pushing water levels up to record levels in reservoirs across the southeast parts of the province. And more rain is forecast for the region today, leaving area farmers wondering if they will ever get back to their fields.

On Monday, APAS was pleased to see Premier Wall pledging the government's support for flooded Saskatchewan communities after meeting with municipal officials and Environment Minster Dustin Duncan.

APAS is confident that Premier Wall and Minister of Agriculture Bjornerud clearly understand the dire impact the excess moisture will have on Saskatchewan agricultural producers again this year and will be announcing additional support to ensure that farmers and ranchers in the Southeast can survive this year's disaster. 

On Tuesday, President Greg Marshall and Policy Manager Doug Faller attended the Growing Forward Two consultations.The Board will be discussing APAS's policy regarding GF2 at this week's Board Meeting.

Tuesday afternoon we learned that workers at the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation have walked off the job. The 470 workers belong to the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union and work in Agristability and Production Insurance programs.

Due to the flood conditions facing many producers and the recent SGEU strike action, the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) is extending the deadlines for producers to submit Establishment Benefit claims, Unseeded Acreage Benefit claims, Seeded Acreage Reports and Stored Grain Declarations to June 30. Learn More HERE

On Wednesday evening the Board of Directors met at the APAS office. Agenda items included the excessive moisture and flooding int he southeast and the Growing Forward Two consultations meetings. The meeting resumed at 8 am on Thursday morning at the Regina Inn.

On Thursday afternoon, Premier wall recalled the legislature to end the crop insurance workers strike He has asked Speaker Don Toth to recall the legislature on Monday. Wall said his government won't allow the strike to continue at a time when many farm families are dealing with record flooding.

 

PLEASE NOTE: The ALUS Meeting scheduled for June 28 at the Bell Barn in Indian Head has been postponed due to flooding and disaster conditions across many of the invited RMs. For more information, please call the APAS office at 306-789-7774  

June 13-17

Its Farm Progress Show week and that means that executive and staff will be spending significant time this week at various WCFPS events and the related breakfast meetings that are part of the show.

On Monday, executive and staff made final arrangements for Farm Progress Show activities. APAS representatives will be expected at a variety of events and activities throughout the upcoming week.   

On Tuesday afternoon, APAS representatives met with the staff from the Farm Leadership Council (FLC) to receive an update on the activities and recent changes that have taken place at FLC.

On Tuesday evening, General Manager Nail Kuyek attended the opening ceremonies, the Innovation Awards and the IBC Reception which mark the official opening of the 2011 Show.

On Wednesday morning, President Greg Marshall and GM Nial Kuyek attended a breakfast meeting to launch AgriGFood Capital Corp - Canada's first Agri-Food Merchant Bank. President Marshall spent the remainder of the day at the show meeting with a variety of commodity groups and stakeholder organizations.  

On Thursday morning, APAS Management, Executive, Directors and Staff joined over three hundred concerned producers at the Canadian Wheat Board breakfast with CWB Chair Allen Olberg.

•Read the speech by Allen Oberg
•Listen/download the speech by Allen Oberg


The federal government has stated it plans to remove the single desk on wheat and barley by August 1, 2012, without a vote by farmers. The Canadian Wheat Board Act states that any changes to wheat and barley marketing need to be approved through a farmer plebiscite. Polls show that three-quarters of Prairie farmers want to decide this question themselves.

The facts are clear. The CWB is controlled by farmers. It's paid for by farmers. Farmers want to decide its future. Farmers deserve to decide. Support farmers' right to decide the future of their grain marketing organization by adding your name to an online petition.
http://www.cwb.ca/public/en/hot/decision/

On Thursday afternoon, GM Nial Kuyek attended the Agricultural Council of Saskatchewan (ACS) Annual General Meeting. Congratulations to Nial for being elected to the Board of Directors of ACS on behalf of APAS.

Also on Thursday, APAS President Greg Marshall, Directors Garth Burns and David Spencer and Policy Manager Doug Faller attended the Canadian Grains Commission meeting that is held each year during the WCFPS.

Vice President Arlynn Kurtz and Environment Committee Chair Norm Hall attended the Provincial Water Strategy consultation meetings hosted by the Ministry of the Environment.  

And finally on Thursday evening, GM Nial Kuyek and Director Norm Hall met with the Saskatchewan Environmental Industry Managers Association to discuss sponsorship and participation of an "Environmental Issues in Agriculture" conference in 2011-12. 

On Friday, it rained and rained and rained.... Meanwhile President Greg Marshall attended the WCFLC luncheon, ...and it rained. 

June 6-10


On behalf of thousands of ranch and farm families from across Saskatchewan, APAS would like to congratulate Saskatchewan's own Honourable Member of Parliament Andrew Scheer for his June 2, 2011 election as the youngest Speaker in Canadian and commonwealth parliamentary history, and the first MP from Saskatchewan to be elected Speaker of the House.

The May 2011 Edition of APAS in ACTION was sent to all Reps and RM offices today. Click HERE for the latest edition as well as archived newsletters.  

May 30-June 3

On Monday, APAS staff spent the morning preparing for the migration of our web-server. Unfortunately, the process turned out to be significantly more complicated than first thought and we lost access to the APAS website and our email for much of Tuesday as a result. (Oops!)

Monday afternoon was spent finalizing the budgets and project proposals for the Go Green Funding Application for the APAS/SWF/SAW led ALUS Demonstration project.

On Tuesday, Executive and staff attended the Memorial Service for General Manager Nial Kuyek's father who passed away earlier this month. Staff were in the office in the afternoon and evening attempting to repair the email system which was affected by Monday's server migration.

On Wednesday morning, the APAS office staff were back on-line. We apologize to APAS members and the public for any loss of service resulting from the technical issues we are experiencing this week. 

We spent the largest part of the preparing the final documentation, hard copies and supporting documentation for the Go Green Program application.

On Thursday, Nial Kuyek was in Saskatoon attending his daughter's Convocation and President Greg Marshall attended the Exploring India Trade Conference.

This week, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance announced that customers will now be compensated for crop land they are unable to seed because of impassable roads caused by excess moisture. Compensation will be provided through Crop Insurance's Unseeded Acreage Benefit.  Producers who cannot access their land due to excess moisture should contact their local Crop Insurance office. Learn More HERE


The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) has once again assembled a must attend event for their 98th Convention and Annual General Meeting coming up June 5 through 7, 2011 in Swift Current.  This year’s theme “Let the Good Times Roll!” reflects the optimism being felt by many within the beef industry and will focus on the bright spots this beleaguered industry is now seeing.

 

May 2011

May 2-6

Monday May 2 is Election Day in Canada. APAS encourages you to get informed, get educated and get involved by getting out and voting.

 

It's Tuesday and APAS congratulates the fourteen Saskatchewan MPs who will be returning to Ottawa to represent the province. We look forward to working with all of them to develop long-lasting and  effective agricultural policies that can lead Saskatchewan and Canadian agriculture into the next decade.

With the election over, our attention returned to the results of the devastating storm that drove through Southeast Saskatchewan over the weekend. District One (1) R.M. Representatives of APAS participated in an emergency conference call on Tuesday, May 3 to discuss the recent disaster and other urgent policy matters. The storm’s impact on livestock producers throughout the area was significant with the death of dozens of cows and calves, sheep and other livestock.  With recent record livestock prices, the income loss for producers and their operations will be significant.

 

APAS is deeply concerned that livestock producers in south-east and east-central Saskatchewan may not be aware that they are eligible for livestock losses suffered as a result of the devastating winter storm that descended on the area during the weekend of April 30, 2011.

APAS has been in contact with both the Minister of Agriculture and the office of the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) to determine if these losses will be eligible for compensation under the current PDAP guidelines.

On Wednesday,  a media release was distributed by the Corrections, Public Safety and Policing indicating that livestock producers who have lost animals due to the recent blizzard will be eligible for coverage provided they meet PDAP's requirements for eligibility.

Livestock producers wanting to claim their loss through PDAP should carefully review the information available at www.cpsp.gov.sk.ca/Process and contact their local municipal office to ensure their RM secures a disaster designation from PDAP.  The process for RM’s to be designated as a Provincial Disaster Area is available at www.cpsp.gov.sk.ca/MunicipalClaimsProcess.

APAS urges individual producers who were affected to contact the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program at 1-866-632-4033 as soon as possible to determine eligibility. Additional information is available at http://www.cpsp.gov.sk.ca/PDAP-Home

A copy of the Media Release from the Ministry of Corrections, Public Safety and Policing is attached for your reference.

On Thursday, we received a number of calls from concerned livestock producers asking about the specific requirements for compensation under the PDAP program, so we are in touch with the appropriate departments this morning looking for clarification.

 

On Friday morning, the Canadian Press confirmed that  Saskatchewan livestock producers who lost animals in last weekend's blizzard are covered under the province's disaster assistance program.

The aid is available only to those in municipalities that declared disasters and then only for uninsured losses.Those making a claim should provide photos of the dead animals and they must also note the time, date and location where the animals were discovered. (In the absence of photographic evidence, a written affidavit will be accepted)

The government recommends farmers check with their insurance agents before applying for coverage. (The Canadian Press)

May 9-13

It's a wet and cool Monday morning and seeding is finally underway across parts of Saskatchewan.  According to Sask Ag, lentils, field peas and cereals are being seeded in a few dry areas but most producers will be late due to excess moisture. No help was last weekend's snow storm which  dropped significant amounts of rain and freezing snow on parts of southeastern and east-central Saskatchewan, leaving many producers still dealing with the aftermath.

Tuesday is  May 10, 2011 - time to tell your story by counting yourself in as part of Canada’s farm community! Fill out your questionnaire on paper and mail it back in the prepaid envelope or take advantage of the internet application which automatically adds totals and skips you through the parts of the questionnaire that you indicate don't apply to your operation.

For more information on the 2011 Census of Agriculture visit the website at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/ca-ra2011/index-eng.htm or contact Erik Dorff by telephone at 613-951-2818 or by e-mail at Erik.Dorff@statcan.gc.ca 

On Wednesday, both Greg Marshall and  Doug Faller took advantage of the break in the wet weather to get out on their fields and start seeding. General Manager Nial Kuyek is away on vacation, so staff spent the better part of the day working on specific projects, including a new President's Message which was uploaded to YouTube and our phone system this afternoon.

Warm weather meant the APAS office was quiet on Thursday and Friday with staff taking advantage of the lull to clean up files and projects. On Friday morning the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) issued the following news release:

Two de-registered Western wheat varieties eligible for top grades until July 31

Deliveries of two de-registered wheat varieties in the Canada Prairie Spring White (CPSW) class will be eligible for grades 1 and 2 until July 31, 2011. The varieties are:

 

For the complete release http://www.grainscanada.gc.ca/media-medias/press-presse/2011/2011-05-13-eng.htm

To unsubscribe or re-subscribe to emails about CGC news releases
 http://grainscanada.gc.ca/media-medias/mediam-mmedias-eng.htm

May 16-20

Warm dry and windy conditions continued across the Prairies this weekend and Saskatchewan farmers took to the fields in response. According to the Ministry of Ag''s weekly crop report, just over 5% of seeding was completed as of last week, well under the five- year average of 14 percent. 

Seeding levels vary widely across the province with some (very lucky) farmers reporting that they will be finished seeding this week, while others are hoping to start seeding later this week.

In other news, APAS extends its support and sympathies to the families affected by the Government of Manitoba's decision to intentionally  flood portions of rural land southeast of Portage La Prairie in order to ease pressure on the Assiniboine River. About 150 homes and thousands of acres of fertile farmland are affected.

On Monday, the latest word from the Manitoba government is that water from the deliberate cut has not flooded any homes yet but has reached the bottom of protective dikes around a few homes.

In Brandon, the Assiniboine River is expected to crest in the next couple of days, but officials say it is expected to remain below the top of dikes that have been put in place. Winnipeg is not affected by the flooding as the riverbank is much wider and deeper in the city, where the Assiniboine dumps into the Red River.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger says rural landowners affected by the deliberate flooding will be well-compensated.

On Tuesday, the Manitoba provincial government said water levels in the western part of the province through to Brandon have dropped slightly, and the same should happen in the coming days near Portage La Prairie, where the government has cut a hole in a dike and deliberately flooded a farming area.Near the cut, water is being released more slowly than first anticipated.The amount of farm fields covered by the deliberate flood is almost the same as it was Monday, and the number of homes with water around them remains at three.

It was with deep regret on Tuesday that APAS's Board of Directors and staff learned that General Manager Nial Kuyek's father, John Michael Kuyek, passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at the age of 91 years. A full obituary will follow in a future edition of the Leader Post. Paragon Funeral Services have been entrusted with arrangements.

On Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his cabinet appointments. Congratulations to the Honourable Gerry Ritz who will continue in his role as Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board and the Honourable Lynne Yelich will continue as Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification).

Greg Marshall will be on the CFA Board of Directors conference call on Wednesday morning. Doug Faller is out of the office tending to his farming operation today and Nial Kuyek is away from the office until next week. Aj is in the office working on a variety of projects.

On Thursday, APAS and the CFA extended their congratulations to Gerry Ritz on his reappointment as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, following the swearing-in of the new federal cabinet today.

We also learned that District Director Jeff Simpson and his wife had their second child this week, welcoming a new baby boy to their 'family' operation.

On Friday, APAS applauded the announcement that Farm Credit Canada is gearing up to help Western farmers who may not be able to get onto waterlogged fields this spring. FCC has implemented a customer support strategy for producers who are facing flood-delayed seeding and are prepared to be flexible in dealing with farmers who are having trouble getting their seeding done.

CWB estimates up to two million hectares of farmland will not be seeded this spring due to excessive moisture.

May 23-27

The APAS office was closed on Monday in recognition of Victoria Day celebrations. Last week, news reports indicated that farmers in most areas of Saskatchewan are benefiting from the drier than normal spring (so far).

The evidence is visible in an Agriculture Canada precipitation map covering the six-week timeframe between April 1st and May 14th. The area bordering Saskatoon, Wynyard, Outlook and Davidson in central Saskatchewan has received less than 40 per cent of average of precipitation.This has helped to reduce worries about excess soil moisture that were prevalent going into spring.Rosetown, Melfort and Hudson Bay are all reporting 40 to 60 per cent of normal spring precipitation, while the north-central region -- Spiritwood & Prince Albert -- is in the 60 to 85 per cent range.The southeast part of the province is the exception to the rule. (CJWW)

And SGI is waiving the seeding eligibility requirement for farm plates in 2011.The farm plate eligibility exemption was first granted in 2010 and was set to expire on June 1st.But many farmers, especially in the southeast, have had an extremely wet seeding period for the second year in a row, so SGI has extended the exemption.In order for a farmer to be eligible for the exemption they must have licensed their vehicle with farm plates in 2010 and must intend to continue farming in 2012 and will seed enough crop to qualify for farm plates next year. (CHAB)

On Tuesday, the  office was relatively quiet as Managers and Executive dealt with a wide variety of projects and issues. Planning is underway for the Board meeting later this week and President Marshall spent part of the day arranging a meeting with Minister Ritz prior to the new session of Parliament. 

Wednesday morning and it's warm and sunny across much of the province. that means farmers are out doing what they do. More than a quarter of the province's crops have been seeded which means significant seeding progress has been made in western regions during the past ten days. Unfortunately, many producers in the south eastern and central eastern regions are just starting to get into their fields.

In other welcome news on Wednesday, the Conference Board of Canada predicted that  real GDP in Saskatchewan is forecast to grow by 4.2 per cent both this year and next, helped by demand for potash and energy. By the end of 2012, Saskatchewan's unemployment rate could fall to as low as 4.6 per cent, the lowest in the country.

On the other side of that equation, Canadian farmers dug themselves deeper into hock last year as total farm debt hit a record $66.37 billion, Statistics Canada announced on Wednesday. According to a report by Barry Wilson in this week's Producer, it was a 6.1 percent, $3.8 billion increase from debt levels at the end of 2009. The largest increase was in farm debt held by chartered banks — $23.6 billion.

Saskatchewan teachers will be on a  two-day strike May 25 and 26, after three days of bargaining did not result in an agreement.
The Saskatchewan Teachers Federation said  buses, classes and extra-curricular activities would all be cancelled those two days. Some farm families will welcome the news, taking advantage of the extra hands and warm weather to speed up seeding and spraying.

Thursday was busy day at the APAS offices. The BOD held their monthly meeting by conference call at 8 am this morning. At ten am, members of the planning committee for the Sask ALUS project were at  the APAS office reviewing the final drafts of the Go Green funding submission.  At 1:15 pm, General Manager Nial Kuyek and President Greg Marshall will be meeting with Minister Ritz to discuss a wide variety of issues and this evening President Marshall will be attending the Premier's Dinner.

Thsi week, we also learned that the two WeaterBug stations that APAS commissioned in order to demonstrate the value of publicly available rural weather information are now operational. We will be posting instructions on how to access the data here next week once we have confirmed that the stations are operating correctly. We will also be inviting SCIC and Environment Canada to evaluate the data collected against other data collection stations in the same locations in order to compare the accuracy of each system.

On Friday morning, the APAS Board held a short conference call to discuss the results of President Marshall''s meeting with the Minister of Agriculture. 

There was good news in the Western Producer this week. According to the report: 'distributed online this morning,the World Trade Organization has ruled against some aspects of the United States Country of Origin Labeling regulations according to sources in a Reuters News story.

The interim ruling, expected to be publically announced later this year, is a  victory for Canada and Mexico, who sued the United States at the WTO in 2009, saying COOL damages meat trade. However the details of the ruling are not yet know so the extent of the victory is not clear.

Reuters says the confidential interim report was circulated to the U.S., Canada and Mexico on May 20.

May 30-June 3

On Monday, APAS staff spent the morning preparing for the migration of our web-server. Unfortunately, the process turned out to be significantly more complicated than first thought and we lost access to the APAS website and our email for much of Tuesday as a result. (Oops!)

Monday afternoon was spent finalizing the budgets and project proposals for the Go Green Funding Application for the APAS/SWF/SAW led ALUS Demonstration project.

On Tuesday, Executive and staff attended the Memorial Service for General Manager Nial Kuyek's fther who passed away earlier this month. Staff were in the office in the afternoon and evening attempting to repair the email system which was affected by Monday's server migration.

On Wednesday morning, the APAS office staff were back on-line. We apologize to APAS members and the public for any loss of service resulting from the technical issues we are experiencing this week. 

We spent the largest part of the perparing the final documentation, hard copies and supporting documentation for the Go Green Program application.

On Thursday, Nial Kuyek was in Saskatoon attending his daughter's Convocation and President Greg Marshall attended the Exploring India Trade Conference. 

 

The Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) has once again assembled a must attend event for their 98th Convention and Annual General Meeting coming up June 5 through 7, 2011 in Swift Current.  This year’s theme “Let the Good Times Roll!” reflects the optimism being felt by many within the beef industry and will focus on the bright spots this beleaguered industry is now seeing.

 

 

 

 

April 2011

April 4-8, 2011

CFA will host a National Agriculture Leader's debate with Agriculture Minister Ritz and the agricultural critics from opposition parties. The event will take place Monday, April 11 from 11-1 at the Château Laurier. Media and observers are welcomed to attend. The event can also be viewed live by podcast at www.cfa-fca.ca.  Please contact communications@cfafca.ca with any questions.

APAS is currently organizing a provincial debate for April 21 or 27, 2011 to be broadcast live on CKRM 620 AM. We've invited the Conservatives, Liberals and NDP and Green Party  to attend. More details will be posted as they become available.

APAS President Greg Marshall is in Winnipeg for the early part of this week to attend the CGC's 42nd AGM.

On Monday morning, APAS' General Manager Nial Kuyek will be traveling from Regina to Luseland, Saskatchewan to meet with the Ratepayers for the RM of Grass Lake on Monday evening and the council for the RM of Hearts Hill on Tuesday morning. 

As soon as that meeting was over, he drove to the RM of Greyson to attend their ratepayer's annual meeting Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, President Marshall will be attending the ratepayers meeting in the RM of Mount Hope and Thursday Greg will be meeting with the RM of Craik to discuss the RM joining the assocation.

Catch up with daily reports from the March 2011 AGM  HERE

 

April 11-15, 2011

On Sunday night, the Executive Committee met at the APAS office in preparation for tomorrow's BOD meeting.

The Board of Directors were in Regina early Monday morning for a 7:30 start to the monthly Board Meeting. 

As part of the BOD meeting, the Directors watched the CFA-sponsored National Agricultural Leaders Debate, which was aired live on CFA's website. The Board subsequently issued an official statement  following the debate and President Greg Marshall spent the remainder of Monday morning responding to media calls requesting comments.

Policy Manager Doug Faller was at the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority AGM on Monday and Tuesday of this week to present on APAS activities and our interest in water stewardship issues.

On Tuesday, WP Writer Barry Wilson and APAS President Greg Marshall watched the National Leaders Debate with a group of farmers from the Seman area. Following the debate, guests dissected  the performance of the four leaders and provided their feedback on how agricultural issues were highlighted  - if at all. Check out Barry's column in next week's issue of the WP for more information.    

On Wednesday morning, President Greg Marshall and General Manager Nial Kuyek attended a meeting with the RM of Rodgers and on Wednesday evening Representatives and Directors will be attending the Ratepayers Meeting for the RM of Usborne.    

Also on Wednesday we received confirmation of the four participants for the April 21 LIVE Provincial Candidates Debate on Agricultural Issues being hosted by CKRM 620 AM.

Conservative Candidate David Anderson, Liberal Candidate Duane Filson and  Green Party Candidate Larissa Shasko and NPD Candidate Fred Clipsham will be the participants. 

The NO BIAS NO BULL Agricultural Debate  hosted by Jim Smalley and sponsored by the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan will be aired LIVE on CKRM 620 AM between noon and 1 pm on April 21. You can also listen to it online at http://www.620ckrm.com/

And finally, you can tune in to Access 7 for televised coverage of this debate on Saturday, April 30 starting at 9 pm or visit our website for links to the YOUTUBE program. 

On Thursday we uploaded a new President's Message to YOUTUBE and our telephone system. Sorry its taken so long between messages, but President Marshall has been on the road or at meetings for much of the time since the AGM.

Tomorrow General Manager Nial Kuyek will be traveling to Virden with CFA President Ron Bonnet to attend and speak at the Churchill Route Association 68th Annual Convention. 

On Friday morning, APAS President Greg Marshall, Wild Rose Agricultural Producers (WRAP) President Humphrey Banack and Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) President Doug Chorney met face-to-face in Winnipeg to discuss the key issues affecting Prairie farmers including business risk management, research and innovation, ecological goods and services, Canadian Grain Commission services and rail transportation. Read More HERE

And closer to home, rising floodwaters could swamp the main highway between Regina and Saskatoon in the coming days according to John Fahlman of  the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority, who says rising water on the Qu'Appelle River may end up running across Highway 11 at Lumsden, just north of Regina. Fahlman says he doesn't know whether the water will be deep enough to re-route traffic. Across the province about 20 sections of highway are already underwater and are closed.Flooding is threatening communities right across the southern Prairies because of heavy snowfall in the winter on ground that was already soggy in the fall.

With Greg in Winnipeg, Vice-President Don Connick has been fielding provincial media inquiries regarding flooding in the southern part of the province.  

Bette-Jean Crews (OFA) will be interviewed by Rex Murphy on his CBC Radio show “Cross Country checkup” this Sunday at 4:00pm EDT live in Port Perry, Ont speaking about election issues, National Food Strategy etc. Here’s the show’s website: http://www.cbc.ca/checkup/

April 18-22, 2011

 

Former Saskatchewan Premier Alan Blakeney passed away this past weekend at the age of 85. In the Legislature on Monday, Opposition Leader Dwayne Lingenfelter remembered Blakeney for his leadership and grace while Premier Brad Wall expressed his condolences on behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan.

On Monday, President Greg Marshall is heading to Ottawa to attend the CFA Board Meeting, which takes place later this week. He will be in the CFA offices Tuesday to meet with the Executive and staff on a variety of issues.  

On Monday Nial Kuyek will be the participating in the Saskatchewan Water Management Strategy Workshop being hosted by the Ministry of Environment. 

On Tuesday APAS staff spent the day working on individual assignments and assisting RM reps prepare for local ratepayer meetings. APAS is also monitoring the flooding situation across the province and reminds producer and rural communities to exercise extreme caution when traveling in or to areas where flooding has been an issue. 

And in other news Tuesday, Winnipeg-based, Richardson International Limited - Canada's largest, privately owned agribusiness - says it has closed the purchase of the North East Terminal grain handling operation in  Wadena, SK. The company said it has also bought crop input businesses in Wadena, Kelvington, Foam Lake and Ponass Lake.

Agricultural issues such as freight rates,  business risk management, excessive moisture and flooding, food safety, and the National Food Strategy will be key topics of discussion for provincial candidates from all four parties  during the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan's No Bias-No Bull Agricultural Debate, scheduled for Thursday, April 21 on CKRM's News Line at Noon with host and moderator Jim Smalley. Guests will include:
 

News Line at Noon is a Live Call in Show. If you have questions you wish to ask the candidates, APAS encourages you to please call (306) 936-6262  or long distance:  1-866-767-0620

Tune in to Access 7 Community Channel across Saskatchewan for televised coverage of this debate on Saturday, April 30 starting at 9 pm -  only on Access7.   The event will also be posted  on APAS website at www.apas.ca

April 25 -29, 2011

The APAS office was closed  on Monday for Easter , but staff were in throughout the day working on various projects. Specifically, Barry Wilson of the Western Producer contacted the office to request an audio transcript of the No Bias No Bull Debate that we held last week with CKRM's Jim Smalley acting as host.

If you missed the radio broadcast, it is available as stremaing MP3 online on CKRM and will be broadcast through Access Channel 7 in select communities across Saskatchewan on Saturday at 9 pm.

You can listen to the Mp3 file by following these simple directions.  

            1. Audio file available at www.620CKRM.com  

            2. On the Menu bar select "Shows"

            3. Drop down to "Newline Podcasts"

            4. You will need to down-load the MP3

                Player to listen to the show.

            5. Select April 21, 2011 for the

               Agricultural Debate.

Alternatively, you can watch the entire debate online by clicking HERE

President Greg Marshall is away from the office for the next two weeks. General Manager Nial Kuyek and the staff spent considerable time this week updating the website, coordinating details surrounding the ALUS project and editing the debate video for broadcast later this week. 

Be sure to tune in to Access 7 across Saskatchewan on Saturday night  to watch the Ag Debate.

 

Remember to Vote on Monday, May 2. It's your Canada. 

 

March 2011

Feb 28 - March 4

President Greg Marshall and VP Don Connick returned from CFA's AGM in Ottawa, where Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Gerry Ritz reiterated his commitment to work in partnership with farmers, particularly on designing programs for the next generation of agriculture policy due to begin in 2013.

Opposition leader Michael Ignatieff also spoke at CFA and called for more investment in rural infrastructure and the need for a National Food Policy. NDP MP Carol Hughes highlighted the importance of supporting family farms and the NDP's agri-food policy proposals. 

While in Ottawa, CFA's twenty-three member organizations -  representing tens of thousands of farmers across Canada - also elected their 2010-2011 executive leaders.

Ron Bonnett will continue as CFA President; Christian Lacasse, President of Union des producters agricoles, was elected 1st Vice-President; and Humphrey Banack, President of Wild Rose Agricultural Producers (Alberta), was elected 2nd Vice-President.

APAS congratulates all three of these exceptional leaders and  looks forward to working alongside them through CFA, the Prairie Farm Leaders group and with their member organizations.

On Monday afternoon, Policy Manager Doug Faller was one of the special guests on the Jim Smalley NewsLine at noon Show on 620 CKRM-AM radio. Together with Gene Kessler of Clear Creek Organics, Doug spoke about the goals of the first Saskatchewan Food Summit, being held this week in Saskatoon.

On Tuesday, members of the Saskatchewan's Alternative Land Use Services Program Project Committee (SASK-ALUS) were at the APAS office. Participants included representatives from Delta Waterfowl, APAS, Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, Ministry of Environment,  Ministry of Agriculture (TBC), Ducks Unlimited, Moose Jaw Watershed Authority, the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds, Wascana Upper Qu'Appelle and SUMA.   

On Wednesday and Thursday , APAS executive and staff were in Saskatoon for the first Saskatchewan Food Summit, being held at TCU Place. For more information on the Summit, click HERE or watch THIS short video featuring APAS Policy Manager, Doug Faller. The Symposium was a fascinating look at the opportunities and barriers to the development of a vibrant and sustainable local food economy. The symposium included active participation from retailers, producers, industry, government, academics, land use planners, health care professionals and many others.     

The APAS Board of Directors will be in Regina this Friday to participate in their final Board of Directors meeting prior to the March AGM.

From 9 am to noon, representatives from AAFC reveiwed the Growing Forward 2 Policy Framework and received comments and concerns from APAS Directors. APAS will be submitting a detailed response to the Policy Framework in the  upcoming weeks.

The Board will also be reviewing the results of our Crop Show Survey on excessive moisture. Once the results are reviewed by the Board of Directors, we will be releasing the data to media and government offices who have expressed interest. 

March 7-11

APAS executive and staff are back in Regina this week following the First Saskatchewan Food Symposium in Saskatoon.

Two of the highlights of the Symposium were the presentations by Eric Biddiscombe, Senior Director of Planning in the Produce Business Unit for the Loblaw's group of companies and Dr. Vicki Sonntag, researcher and author of Sustainable Seattle.

Eric spoke of the critical need for a comprehensive Saskatchewan brand in order to meet the growing demand for locally produced fresh produce. Both Loblaws and Walmart have publicly targeted 30 percent local produce in their stores and that’s a huge opportunity for local family farms.

Dr. Sonntag provided some valuable insight into the true economic benefit of a local food economy to producers, rural communities, governments, consumers and taxpayers. Her explanation of the multiplier effect clearly shows the benefit of buying local.

Symposium attendees jointly developed an action plan to develop a strong and vibrant local food economy in our province. Copies of their reports will be made available on our website and will be forwarded to the key stakeholder organizations in the weeks to come. Be sure to visit the IN ACTION section of our website for more information about the Symposium and the resulting report.

On Monday morning, APAS participated in a conference call with  about the Weather Farm system and how it might the deployed to enhance weather data in Saskatchewan for a wide variety of stakeholder organizations. 

On Tuesday, Greg Marshall flew to Winnipeg to participate in the Western Grain Research Foundation (WGRF) Board of Directors meeting. 

The newest episode of The APAS President's Message is now available online at Youtube/APASonAIR. You can also read the text HERE or call 306.789.7774 and press extension 411 to hear the audio only version. 

On Thursday afternoon, APAS learned that  Norm Nordgulen District Two Director for APAS was just elected to the SARM Board of Directors. APAS extends heartfelt congratulations to Director Nordgulen and the rest of the newly elected Board of SARM on behalf of the APAS Representatives, Board and staff.  

March 14-18

Looks like spring is trying to break through this week, with warm weather forecast across the province for the balance of the week. This will be an extremely busy five days for the organization with all four policy committees hosting meetings or conference calls in the days to come.. 

President Greg Marshall is back in Regina this week following the WGRF BOD meeting in Winnipeg. More on that later.

 

The APAS Livestock Committee met in Regina on Monday, March 14, 2011.  Jim Laturnas of the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture updated the Committee on the selection of Diamond 7 Meats of Lloydminster, Drake Meat Processors of Drake, and Western Prime Meat Processors of Weyburn to participate in interprovincial meat trade pilot projects.  The Committee is enthusiastic about the progress being made with these pilot projects as inter-provincial movement of meat has been a policy priority for APAS.  Saskatchewan currently lacks federally inspected slaughter plants for all species but pork with the effect that beef and species other than pork cannot currently be slaughtered in the province for inter-provincial movement.  These pilot projects will qualify for inter-provincial movement and that is very important to further development of our livestock industry.

The Committee had a telephone discussion with Dr. Wendy Wilkins  who is Chair of the Malignant Catarrhal Fever Task Force appointed by Minister Bjornerud.  The mandate of the Task Force is to develop recommendations for the management of this disease by industry.  Brian Snell, Representative for the RM of Garden River #490, will represent APAS on this Task Force.

The Committee also met with Rodger Savory of Triple A Producers’ Cooperative, a new generation cooperative formed to involve grass fed beef producers in the value chain.  Discussion included the barriers challenging this cooperative and expanded beef production overall.

Other issues discussed by the Committee included issues around horse slaughter in the United States and Canada, action  taken on resolutions and the need for any new resolutions for the Annual General Meeting.

Meanwhile staff spent the day preparing for the upcoming AGM, which begins next Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, President Greg Marshall was at the RM of Mount Hope to update to the council regarding APAS activities and priorities.

On Tuesday morning, GM Nial Kuyek participated in a stakeholders conference call led by Elizabeth G. Siegel, Project Engineer/Meteorologist,  Atmospheric & Information Management Services at AMEC Earth & Environmental on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to discuss the agro-meteorological data that is currently being collected in Saskatchewan through a variety of networks and information about the survey that AMEC will release immediately following the call. 

 

APAS has been interested in this issue for some time.  At our 2010 Annual General Meeting, the following resolutions were passed:

“That APAS develop a plan to have WeatherFarm weather stations installed in all member RMs.”and “That APAS look into government funding to assist the installation of WeatherFarm weather stations in all member RMs.”

Then, after further analysis and discussion, the following resolution was passed at our 2010 Mid Term Meeting:

“That APAS write to the Minister of Agriculture requesting that the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) expand its weather data gathering network to include at least one weather station per RM.” (See the letter here.)

As APAS has examined weather information needs, we have begun to encourage use of WeatherFarm stations.    WeatherFarm shares high quality weather information with farmers through the free WeatherFarm applications and with the public through free consumer sites.  WeatherFarm currently has close to 300 stations in the province of Saskatchewan and hundreds in our neighboring provinces. APAS Members get a discounted price when they install WeatherFarm stations on thier farms. 

 

WeatherFarm information is free to farmers but the infrastructure needs to be supported by industry and governments.  It is our view that WeatherFarm is an extremely cost-effective means of meeting weather information needs in Saskatchewan and our hope that together with both levels of government we can pursue this option as one which can provide the necessary services to Saskatchewan farmers and citizens in a fiscally responsible manner.  

To demonstrate our seriousness in advocating the use of WeatherFarm, APAS has commissioned two WeatherFarm stations at each of two sites to facilitate comparison by independent analysts of WeatherFarm weather data to those of the current SCIC weather stations.  The two comparison stations will be installed at Aneroid and Dundurn in the upcoming weeks and the links to the data from those two stations will be posted here. 

 

The APAS Environment and Food Safety Committee held a conference call on the evening of Tuesday, March 15, 2011.  Chair Norm Hall updated the Committee on the carbon credit trading regulations being developed by the provincial government and the involvement of APAS in the process.  The Chair also updated the committee on two meetings held to further advance the Alternative Land Use Services project proposed by APAS, Delta Waterfowl and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation.  Norm noted that the provincial steering committee has been expanded to include SUMA, the Wascana Upper Qu’Appelle Watersheds Association, Ducks Unlimited, the provincial Ministries of Agriculture and Environment, and the Saskatchewan Association of Watersheds.  The Moose Jaw River Watershed Association and the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association attended the second meeting and are considering involvement in the steering committee.  The Chair expressed the view that this broadened coalition would be important to successful implementation of an ALUS demonstration project in Saskatchewan.

The Committee discussed agricultural plastics recycling and a consultation being conducted by Clean Farms Inc. in Regina on March 22, 2011.  Ernest Hall, Representative for the RM of Big Quill #308, will participate in this consultation on behalf of APAS.

Director Charles Boser reported on participation in a Land Owner Surface Rights meeting in Alberta and the issues discussed.  A panel discussion on Land Owner and Surface Rights has been incorporated into the agenda for the 2011 APAS AGM to bring information and viewpoints on these matters to the RM Representatives.      

On Wednesday, the APAS Trade & Strategic Growth Committee met in Saskatoon. The highlight of the meeting was a presentation on the Ag In The Classroom program currently offered in Saskatchewan.

On Thursday (St Patrick'[s Day), the Grains and Oilseeds Committee met in Saskatoon.  They invited Ken Rosassen of the U of S to provide an update on Freight Rates Manager. 

And on Friday, staff busied themselves with final printing and packaging of the delegate and guest kits for the AGM next week.                  

March 20-25

On Monday, President Greg Marshall spent Monday visiting RMS in South Eastern Saskatchewan; Policy Manager Doug Faller released the results of the 2011 Crop Production Show survey on excessive moisture conditions; and the rest of APAS staff were in the office preparing for the 2011 AGM which begins tomorrow evening with registration and the President's Reception.

 

In other news today, the Saskatchewan government has launched a website to help people deal with any flooding this spring.The website offers information on spring runoff, provides flood forecasts, tracks flood activity and outlines assistance programs. It will include everything from water levels on specific lakes and rivers to flood prevention tips. The website is a joint effort between the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority and several government departments. It can be found at www.saskflood.ca

The Board of Directors will be meeting Tuesday morning and the in-person registration table for the AGM will open later in the afternoon at  the Regina Inn.

With storms brewing across the province and many provincial roads in treacherous conditions , APAS reps who may not be able to attend can log into our website for up to the minute reporting throughout the AGM. Just follow the links on our home page at www.apas.ca. 

The 2011 AGM began Wednesday morning at 8 am. We are providing live hourly reports from the AGM HERE.

On Wednesday afternoon, the provincial government released its 2011-12 budget. You can read the key budget documents HERE or get just the agricultural highlights HERE.  Highlights include:

President Marshall will be commenting to the APAS AGM delegates regarding the Saskatchewan budget at 5 pm.

Live reports from the AGM on Wednesday and Thursday are available HERE


On Thursday evening, immediately following the AGM , General Manager Nial Kuyek and District Director Norm Hall attended and presented at the RM of Emerald # 277 Ratepayers Supper. Following the presentation and discussion, ratepayers voted overwhelmingly to continue their membership in APAS.

On Friday, President Greg Marshall attended the Sask Conservation Development Association meeting and spoke about water issues and the impact on agriculture. 

And finally on Friday, APAS staff are all in the office cleaning up from the AGM. We will be posting all available presentations and documentation throughout the next few days.

March 28 - April 1, 2011

Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited the Governor General on Saturday to dissolve Parliament and to declare a federal election on May 2, 2011. The Harper government was defeated on Friday on a non-confidence motion declaring the government in contempt of Parliament.

CFA will continue its tradition of organizing a national agriculture leaders debate. APAS will be promoting the debate and providing input into questions that might be posed to the participants. If you have agricultural issues or concerns you want considered, please email us at info@apas.ca

IN other news, on Saturday, APAS Policy Manager Doug Faller was the special guest on Market Prospects on CTV's FarmGate. Doug's focus was input prices and the availability of data or lack thereof.

On Monday evening, District Director Jeff Simpson attended the Spring Ratepayers Meeting for the RM of Grandview. # 349 to update ratepyers regarding APAS activities and initiatives. 

On Tuesday, APAS hosted an Alternative Land Use Services Demonstration Project Committee Meeting. The demonstration  project site will be selected within the next few weeks.

On Wednesday, President Marshall flew to Ottawa, where he will be for the balance of the week participating in the CFA Board of Directors Strategic Planning Session.

Thursday and Friday, APAS staff are all in the office working on various projects and administrative tasks. By   

And finally,on Saturday, Policy Manager Doug Faller spoke at  the Organic Conference being hosted by the Saskatchewan Organic Directorate at the Travelodge in Regina.  

Throughout the week, staff will be busy following up on AGM activities and posting available documentation to the website.

 

 

 

 

February 2011

Jan 31 - February  4

Surrounded by consumers on Tuesday in Ottawa , the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture) today announced the key results of a pilot project on the in-store promotion of Canadian food products. Read the complete story HERE

The Southern Regional Colleges of Saskatchewan serve the training needs of the adult population in the rural portions of Southern Saskatchewan outside of the major centers of Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert.

As part of their mandate, to serve the needs of the adult population in their respective region, the Colleges utilize various methods to collect data to determine what those needs are in order to respond effectively.  The Colleges utilize community organizations, chambers of commerce, stakeholders, training partners, focus groups, sector councils, individual employer visits and surveys such as this one to find the best fit for current and long term needs.   APAS encourages you to assist them in this very worthwhile information gathering process via our Ag Producer Survey.  

Feb 7-11, 2011

On Monday, the APAS Governance Committee met in Regina to review the APAS bylaws in preparation for the 2011 AGM. Meanwhile President Greg Marshall was on the road attending the Northeast Rural Municipal Assocation meeting and presenting to the council for the RM of Perdue.

On Tuesday, Greg continued his travels with presentations to the RMs of Chesterfield and Snipe Lake. Early Tuesday morning,  District Four hosted a conference call in preparation for the upcoming AGM and Gm Nial Kuyek and Norm Hall, Chair of the Environment & Food Safety Committee attended a meeting with the Honourable Dustin Duncan, Provincial Minister of Environment and Sandra Morin, Environment Critic for the NDP Official Opposition.

On Wednesday, Nial Kuyek headed out to the RMs of Brittania and Great Bend to update the councils regarding APAS activities. Meanwhile back at the APAS office, the APAS Environment and Food Safety Committee met to dicsus a wide variety of current issues including ALUS, Ag Plastics and Carbon Credits.

Thursday morning saw Greg Marshall back on the road, heading for the RM of Pinto Creek while the staff were all in the office working on a wide variety of projects, inlcuding preparing for the 2011 AGM.

This week we launched a new YOUTUBE Channel called ApasOnAir. We will be posting the President's biweekly messages here as well as other videos that might be of interest to our members and stakeholder groups. You can visit the YouTube Channel by searching for APASonAir or by clicking HERE.  (www.youtube.com/user/APASonAir)

Feb 14-18

This week members of the APAS team hit the road to talk about carbon sequestration and how Saskatchewan's proposed carbon credit market regulations could be an opportunity for the province's agricultural producers. Thank you to the communities of Kipling, Melville, Davidson, Eston, Swift Current and Moose Jaw where dozens of people turned out to learn about how the current legislation and proposed regulations could impact their farming income.   

 

In May 2010, the Government of Saskatchewan passed the Management and Reduction of Greenhouses Gases Act.  The Act regulates 22 companies in the province with annual emissions over 50,000 tonnes of CO2. They call these companies ‘Licensed Final Emitters’ or LFE’s and they need to reduce their CO2 emissions by 20% in the next 10 years.

Our Directors and staff have been actively engaged within the subcommittees formed to create the carbon credit protocols and are concerned with the changes that are being promoted by some powerful stakeholder organizations.

Those changes could render your carbon sequestration efforts worthless and widen the divide between farmers in Saskatchewan and those in Alberta.   

Part of our message at these meetings is the power that farmers have collectively when they pick up the phone individually to voice their concerns.

Agricultural  groups and lobby organizations like APAS and FNA-STAG can do the research and the publicity around the issues -  BUT it takes REAL farmers with REAL voices and REAL concerns to affect REAL change. 

So while APAS is doing its part within the committee structures outlined by the Ministry of Environment, we need you to do your part by calling the Ministers of Agriculture and Environment, your local MLAs and the responsible departments to raise these concerns.

Honourable Bob Bjornerud, Minister of Agriculture

Room 334, Legislative Building, 2405 Legislative Drive, Regina, SK, Canada, S4S 0B3

Telephone:(306) 787-0338

FAX: (306) 787-0630

Email:minister.ag@gov.sk.ca

  

 

Honourable Dustin Duncan, Minister of Environment

Room 315, Legislative Building, 2405 Legislative Drive, Regina, SK, Canada, S4S 0B3

Telephone(306) 787-0393

FAX:(306) 787-1669

Email: minister.env@gov.sk.ca 

When you do call or mail or email them:

Tell them to stop discounting the value of agricultural carbon credits as they enter the market under the regulations now being developed. In Alberta producers have been paid one to two dollars an acre to sequester carbon. Don’t let LFEs pay pennies for the same effort by Saskatchewan producers.

Tell them to make carbon credits retroactive. In Alberta farmers were being paid retroactive to 2002. At a minimum, the government needs to honour the 2006 retroactive date that has already been proposed.

Tell them to serialize carbon credits and make farmers the owners of the credits they create.  That way we can sell or bank our annual credits when we deem it most appropriate. 

And finally, tell them NO to so- called ‘additionality’ –  the idea that direct seeding is now business as usual in the province and that farmers should not be paid in the future for something they will be doing anyways. 

Ask yourself -  Should we stand up for our rights as solution providers in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions or should our province re-title the proposed carbon credit regulations as simply:  “The Saskatchewan DIS-advantage”??

Call your Ministers, Ministries and MLAs to tell them that agriculture should be recognized for the solution we provide.

Feb 21-25

 

The APAS office was closed on Monday, February 21 in celebration of Family Day. However the staff were in the office in order to complete and upload this week's President's Message to our YouTube channel, ApasOnAir and our interactive telephone system (To hear the latest message at any time, phone 306-789-7774 and press extension 411).

 

This week started off with some welcome news for Saskatchewan’s livestock producers facing feed and forage shortages due to excessive moisture. On Tuesday morning Federal Minister of Agriculture, Gerry Ritz and Provincial Minister of Agriculture Bob Bjornerud announced a new joint AgriRecovery program aimed at Saskatchewan producers who own or lease, custom graze or custom feed breeding livestock.  

This initiative will work with the existing Saskatchewan Feed and Forage Program (SFFP) to provide up to $30 per ton to purchase feed. Assistance is also available to those producers who have to transport feed to their livestock or transport livestock to alternative locations for feeding or grazing due to feed shortages caused by excess moisture. The SFFP also provides $30 per eligible acre to producers to reseed hay, forage or pasture land that has been damaged by excess moisture.

For more information on the SFFP, or to complete an application form, producers can contact a local Ministry of Agriculture or Crop Insurance office, visit www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca, email sffp@gov.sk.ca, or call the SFFP toll-free line at 1-877-874-5365. Application forms are also available at local RM offices.

APAS was especially pleased to work alongside the Saskatchewan Cattelemen’s Association and other agricultural and industry groups to publicize the issue and congratulates both Ministers for developing a solution to assist Saskatchewan’s livestock industry during this crisis.

In other news, President Greg Marshall and members of the Board of Directors are in Ottawa this week attending the CFA's Annual General Meeting. The 23 member organizations will be discussing a wide variety of issues under the banner of Connecting with Consumers. To learn more about the CFA AGM, click HERE.

On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, APAS President Greg MArshall will be chairing the CFA's Grains and Oilseeds Committee Meeting as it reviews areas of interest and discusses any key policy recommendations that will be tabled before the membership later this week.

The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture, will open the formal proceedings at teh CFA AGM on Wednesday afternoon followed by Greg Stewart, CEO of FCC.

Later Wednesday afternoon, CFA delegates will a special presentation entitled ‘Crisis? What Crisis?’ featuring Gil Barrows, Senior Associate, Agri-Food & Consumer Goods, Global Public Affairs and Tom Scott, President and Chief Operating Officer, Informa Economics Inc.

Thursday’s agenda at CFA includes presentations by Hon. Michael Ignatieff, Leader of the Official Opposition and Honourable Jack Layton, Leader of the New Democratic Party as well as presentations entitled Connecting with Consumers and The Young Farmers' Perspective.

APAS is particularly proud that the Thursday afternoon's agenda will feature a presentation by Saskatchewan’s own Lauren and Ryan Maurer, the 2010 Winners of Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers’ Program.

The big news Thursday was the announcement of enhancements to the Crop Insurance Program for the Province of Saskatchewan.

APAS was pleased to see increased coverage and new program enhancements that will help producers deal with situations like last years record moisture levels.

Many of the announced program enhancements were recommended by APAS and other groups to the Ministry during last year's Crop Insurance Review, including allowing young farmers to transfer yield and premium discounts earned by family members of the same farming operation. These steps will help many young farmers to manage thier risk more effectively and should encourage an increased participation rate in Crop Insurance programs.  

Remember that the deadline for customers to apply for or make chamges to or cancel their Crop Insurance Contract is March 31, 2011.    

Back in Regina, Directors and staff are working on a number of important policy issues, including: Alternative Land Use Services, Carbon Credit Regulations and assisting with the First Saskatchewan Food Summit, being held next week in Saskatoon. 

And we have just learned that coming up in April, the Food Centre is hosting two valuable seminars to shed light on government and industry programs and services available to bring innovations to commercialization.  This is a great seminar for food entrepreneurs, food processors, nutritionists, process engineers, dieticians, chefs, food safety personnel, ingredient suppliers, researchers, etc.  If you’re linked to the food industry then you need to be at this seminar! Learn More HERE

 

 

 

2011

Jan 4-7

Welcomem to 2011. We spent the better part of this week getting things ready for the Crop PRoduction SHow 2011 in Saskatoon. APAS has develped a new "tongue in cheek' display to gahter survey results regarding excessive moisture conditiosn in the province. Visit us next week at Booth B59 to take part.  

Jan 10-15, 2011:

APAS is at the CPS 2011 and we are taking the pulse of agriculture.  Join us Monday through Thursday at Booth B59 at Prairieland Park.

On Monday, Director Norm Hall visited the RM of Emerald 277  and spent Tuesday visiting the RM of Garry 245 and Ituna Bon Accord RM 246. On Thursday, Norm will be presenting an update to the council for  RM of Lakeside 338. Meanwhiel DOug Faller and VP Jeff Simpson are in Saskatoon at the Crop Production Show and President Greg Marshall is in Edmonton attending the  WRAP annual meeting.

Jan 17-21, 2011:

This week, the APAS Board was in Regina to meet and review the results of the Crop Production Show. Other topics on the agenda included the recent WRAP meeting and the upcoming KAP and CFA meetings. Members of the Board will also be at the Saskatchewan Beef Conference in Saskatoon later this week. 

Doug Faller is compiling the results of our study during Crop Show this year. With well over 400 surveys completed in just four days, we have some fascinating data on moisture conditions and projections to  map.  

Jan 24-28, 2011

This week, APAS Executive, Directors and staff will be in Winnipeg for the KAP Annual Convention.  As well this week, the 5th Annual YES! To Agriculture Conference will take place on Jan 27-28 in Saskatoon. For full conference details visit www.saskyoungag.ca 

 

 

December 27-31

APAS will be closed December 27 & 28. Staff were in the office the balance of the week working on a wide variety of projects.

December 20-24

The BOD was in Regina this week for their monthly Board meeting. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

December 13-17

APAS staff spent the majority of the week cleaning up  and following up on the Mid Term meeting.  

December 6-10

Join us on December 9 and 10 as we host the 2010 APAS Mid Term Meeting from Regina, Sk. Click HERE for Mid Term details.

Check out the NE Local Food Producer Workshop December 8, 2010, 7:00 p.m. at the Hanover Room at the Tisdale RECplex. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Leroy Bader, PAg, Regional Farm Business Management Specialist, Tisdale Regional Office, Regional Services Branch at (306) 878-8841 Leroy.Bader@gov.sk.ca

Work shop objectives:     

Nov 29-Dec 3

The Riders lost. Montreal won. Enough said.

Last week, Tara faxed the final notice of the Mid Term Meeting to all Reps and emailed the Mid Term invitation to all member and non-member RM offices. For those Reps who have forgotten or been unable to register , you can expect a call form Tara this afternoon. 

If you haven't already done so, please complete and fax back the Mid Term registration forms and make your hotel booking now. More details about the 2010 Mid Term Meeting can be found HERE 

This week, the Grains and Oilseeds Committee will be meeting on Tuesday at the APAS office to prepare for the 2010 MidTerm Meeting.

Greg will be on the road for a portion of this week as he attends meetings with the ratepayers for the RM of Arbourfield the Council for the RM of Bjorkdale.

The balance of the week will be spent finalizing arrangements and agenda for the 2010 Mid Term Meeting. 

Earlier this month, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council launched an online directory: www.agriguide.ca. Agriguide.ca provides contact information for national, regional and provincial not-for-profit and publicly-funded farm organizations and commodity groups. Each listing in Agriguide.ca includes full contact information for associations that serve agricultural producers as well as a short description of the organization. It includes national, regional and provincial not-for-profit and publicly-funded farm organizations and commodity groups.

 

And in case you haven't heard, SGI is conducting a review of the Farm License Plate program.  It has identified seven areas where it says it has received requests for changes to the eligibility and scope of farm plates. This document was prepared by copying information directly from SGI’s website and contains virtually all of the available information on their initiative.

It is provided to you for informational purposes and particularly to give you an opportunity to provide your views to SGI as an individual in one of four ways:

 

The APAS Board will have a look at the proposed changes at the next Board meeting.

November 2010

November 1-5

The big news this week is the upcoming RM Elections (for all odd numbered RMs).  Odd numbered RMs who are APAS members will also be selecting new or renewing current APAS representatives.  APAS would like to take this opportunity to thank all APAS reps for their commitment and participation and we look forward to seeing all of the 2010-2011 Reps at the Mid Term Meeting in December. 

President Marshall is in Texas attending the Canadian Producers Tour. He will be providing a full report on his return next week. Vice President Don Connick and General Manager Nial Kuyek will be at the RM of Big Stick #141 on Wednesday to provide the Council with an update on APAS activities. 

This week the Federal Government rejected BHP's bid to take over Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan. APAS President Greg Marshall stood with other CFA leaders to call for improved policies to stabilize fertilizer prices and supply in Canada. Read their official statement HERE

And on Thursday, the Federal Government announced that they are helping some livestock producers in North-Eastern parts of Saskatchewan who are struggling as a result of excess moisture by offering tax deferrals to a number of municipalities. The tax deferral allows eligible producers in designated areas to defer income tax on the sale of breeding livestock for one year to help replenish breeding stock in the following year. Livestock producers are advised to contact their local Canada Revenue Agency Tax Services Office for details on the income tax provisions.

The 2010 list of Saskatchewan rural municipalities (RMs) in which producers are eligible for the deferral so far includes Aberdeen, Arborfield, Barrier Valley, Bayne, Big Quill, Birch Hills, Bjorkdale, Blaine Lake, Blucher, Buchanan, Buckland, Calder, Cana, Canwood, Churchbridge, Clayton, Colonsay, Connaught, Corman Park, Cote, Cupar, Duck Lake, Dundurn, Elfros, Emerald, Fish Creek, Flett's Springs, Foam Lake, Garden River, Garry, Good Lake, Grant, Great Bend, Hazel Dell, Hoodoo, Hudson Bay, Humboldt, Insinger, Invergordon, Invermay, Ituna Bon Accord, Kellross, Kelvington, Keys, Kinistino, Laird, Lake Lenore, Lakeland, Lakeside, Lakeview, Leask, Leroy, Lipton, Livingston, Lost River, McCraney, Moose Range, Morris, Mount Hope, Nipawin, Orkney, Paddockwood, Pleasantdale, Ponass Lake, Porcupine, Prairie Rose, Preeceville, Prince Albert, Redberry, Rosedale, Rosthern, St. Louis, St. Peter, St. Philips, Saltcoats, Sasman, Shellbrook, Sliding Hills, Spalding, Stanley, Star City, Three Lakes, Tisdale, Torch River, Touchwood, Tullymet, Usborne, Viscount, Wallace, Willow Creek, Wolverine, Wood Creek and Wreford.

For more information on the extent of the excess moisture situation or available programs to assist farmers, see the AAFC Drought Watch site at www.agr.gc.ca/drought.

November 8-12

Greg returned from his trip to Texas on Monday and the APAS staff took the opportunity to meet to update each other regarding current projects and upcoming opportunities.

Since July, APAS has been pointing to the urgent need for support for some livestock producers facing severe feed shortages this winter. A stream of letters and media releases have called on one or both levels of government to commit to a specific program to support those ranchers most severely affected.

Affected producers were pleased on Tuesday morning as Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud announced the Saskatchewan Feed and Forage Program (SFFP) to support livestock and forage producers affected by excess moisture.The SFFP will provide financial support to producers who have to transport additional feed to their livestock or have to transport livestock to alternative locations for feeding or grazing because of excess moisture. Payments will be based on the amount of feed or number of animals transported, and the distance hauled.In addition, the SFFP will provide $30 per acre to producers to reseed hay, forage or pasture land that has been damaged by excess moisture.

On Tuesday afternoon, President Marshall and General Manager Nial Kuyek will be meeting with Dwayne Lingenfelter, Leader of the Official Opposition in order to provide an update on provincial and national agricultural issues that APAS is addressing on behalf of our province's farmers and ranchers.

On Wednesday, David Spencer will be attending a meeting with the RM of Willow Creek and later that evening the Representatives of both District Four (4) and District Three (3) will be participating in district conference calls in preparation for the 2010 Mid Term Meeting.

The APAS office will be closed on Remembrance Day, Thrusday, November 11.

On Friday, APAS will be hosting a conference call with KAP, WRAP and BCAC in preparation for the final submission to WED for a Western Canadian Merchant Bank. 

November 15-19

Well, like nearly everyone in the province, APAS staff and executives watched in anticipation as our Riders moved on to the Western Semi Finals in Calgary with a nail-biter of an overtime win over the Lions on Sunday.

While we wait for the Riders to take on the Stampeders, President  Marshall will be in Ottawa attending a meeting of the Grain Council of Canada and the 2010 Grain Industry Symposium.Vice President Don Connick will be attending the CAHRC meetings on Wednesday and Thursday.

By the way, Greg's report on his trip to Texas is available HERE

On Wednesday, Nail will be attending a meeting with representatives of Enterprise Saskatchewan and Western Economic Development as the Western Canadian farm groups pursue the development of a merchant bank focused on small to medium sized agricultural and related value-added enterprises.

Policy Manager Doug Faller will be attending the SEIMA luncheon on Wednesday and the Southern Crown Land Conservation Committee meeting on Thursday. That same day, Director David Spencer will be attending a meeting with the Council for the RM of Barrier Valley at 8 am . 

Two APAS Policy Committees will be holding meetings this week at the APAS office. On Thursday the Environment and Food Safety Committee will be meeting at 11:00 am and on Friday the Livestock Committee will be hosting its meeting at 11 am.

And on the organizational side, we will be mailing out official notices for the upcoming mid term meeting to all reps and RMS this week.

This week, we also distributed a special OpEd from Doug Faller regarding the Rail Service Panel's Interim Report.  You can read it HERE.

And on the topic of Rail Service, take a look at Kevin Hursh's article, Railways have great lobbyists which appeared on November 18.   

November 22-26

It's Agribition Week in Regina and livestock producers from across North America are in Regina throughout the week helping to cheer on the Riders in the 2010 Grey Cup.

Throughout this week, APAS encourages you to pick up a copy of the Globe and Mail and follow the paper's series discussing and debating the emerging trend in agricultural investments and the future of the Canadian farmer. There is also an excellent article on the CFA's National Food Strategy, which APAS delegates will be discussing at our upcoming Mid Term Meeting in December.    

Some Canadian beef producers got welcome news this week as Minister Ritz announced that Canadian cattle producers have won some duty-free access to the lucrative European Union market for beef produced without growth hormones. But concern about the hormones continues to keep most Canadian beef products off dinner plates in Europe and other countries such as Japan.

On Monday, the APAS Economic, Trade & Strategic Growth Committee met in Regina to discuss current policy matters in preparation for the 2010 Mid Term Meeting. 

Tuesday morning, VP Don Connick and GM Nial Kuyek attended the South Central Municipal Organizations meeting to provide an update on current agricultural policy issues.  

On Wednesday, Greg and Nial will be attending the Agribition Sponsors Reception being hosted by the Premier of Saskatchewan.  Later on in the evening, APAS Directors, Executive and Management will be attending the CWA's International Business Centre Reception.

Thursday's Western Producer includes an excellent OpEd by APAS Policy Mangeer Doug Faller regarding the Rail Service Review Panel's Interim Report. We encourage you to read and share it with your neighbors and friends. The full text can be found HERE 

On Friday, APAS's Doug Faller and Norm Hall will attend a meeting of the Ministry of the Environment's Informal Coalition on Agricultural Offsets.

The Board of Directors will be also be hosting a conference call on Friday morning to discuss a number of current issues and to prepare for the upcoming Mid Term Meeting.   

Nov 29-Dec 3

 

The Riders lost. Enough said.

Tara has faxed teh final notice of the mid Term Meeting to all Reps and emailed the Mid Term invitation to all member and non-member RM offices.For those Reps who have forgotten to  register yet, you can expect a call form Tara this afternoon. 

This week, the Grains and Oilseeds Committee will be meeting on Tuesday at the APAS office to prepare for the 2010 MidTerm Meeting.

If you haven't already done so, please complete and fax back the Mid Term registration forms and make your hotel booking now. More details about the 2010 Mid Term Meeting can be found HERE 

Greg will be on the road for a portion of this week as he attends meetings with the ratepayers for the RM of Arbourfield the council for the RM of Bjorkdale.

The balance of the week will be spent finalizing arrangements and agenda for the 2010 Mid Term Meeting. 

Earlier this month, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council launched an online directory: www.agriguide.ca. Agriguide.ca provides contact information for national, regional and provincial not-for-profit and publicly-funded farm organizations and commodity groups. Each listing in Agriguide.ca includes full contact information for associations that serve agricultural producers as well as a short description of the organization. It includes national, regional and provincial not-for-profit and publicly-funded farm organizations and commodity groups.

October 2010

October 3 - 8 

Another week of warm and sunny weather has allowed Saskatchewan producers to make significant harvest progress. Sixty per cent of 2010 crop has been combined, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly Crop Report for the week. This is an increase of 31 per cent over last week.An additional 30 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-combine. The five-year provincial average (2005 to 2009) for this time of year is 85 per cent combined. 

With warm weather across the province, President Marshall took advantage of the warm weather to ensure that their own farms are  finished harvest and that the neighbors are able to do the same. Meanwhile, Policy Manager Doug Faller is on a much-deserved vacation and will be back next week.

Fields are still very wet, making harvest difficult. The past couple of weeks of good weather has producers bringing in the crop as quickly as they can. The majority of crop damage is a result of the rain and frost from the past couple of weeks. Lodging, flooding, bleaching and sprouting are causing crop damage as well. Cranes and geese are feeding on crops.

At the APAS office,  things were generally quiet as producers were focused on the their fields. The staff spent a good deal of time detailing and coordinating the upcoming 2010 midterm and 2011 annual meetings and working on specific letters and communications to both levels of government regarding the impact of this years excessive moisture on Saskatchewan livestock producers.  President Marshall also attended a special meeting with concerned RMs in order to highlight the extreme conditions faced by desperate livestock producers across the province.

October 12-15

A light rain dampened spirits over the Thanksgiving weekend, but overall, the mood in the  province is far more positive than it was a few weeks ago. Harvest is progressing and the ground is still relatively dry and free of frost. 

President Greg Marshall will be out of the office for a large part of this week, dealing with a family tragedy. On Monday, GM Nial Kuyek met with representatives from FCC to update them on APAS programs and upcoming sponsorship opportunities. on Thursday afternoon, Nial Kuyek will be joining Bob Friesen of FNA-STAG at a meeting with Minister Bjornerud to discuss a number of important farmer empowerment  programs.

Policy Manager, Doug Faller is back in the office this week and will be working with the Saskatchewan Food Symposium Committee to announce new dates in the spring of 2011 for the first provincial food symposium.  

Nial and Greg will be off to Ottawa, Ontario early next week to attend the Prairie farm Leaders Meting, the CFA BOD meeting and the 75th anniversary banquet and awards ceremony.   

BREAKING NEWS-KAP President Steps Down

Winnipeg – On October 14, Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) President Ian Wishart announced his resignation at KAP’s General Council meeting in Portage la Prairie.

Wishart, who was serving his third term as president, operates Agasea Farms near Portage la Prairie which includes forages, specialty crops, and a 150 head cow/calf operation. Previously, he served four years as KAP's vice president. Wishart has been involved with many committees including Business Risk Management, Environment, and Assessment and Taxation.

Wishart was the driving force behind Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS), a conservation program that puts the emphasis on farmers' contributions to the environment, which launched as a pilot project in Manitoba in 2005.

KAP would like to thank President Wishart for his contribution of valuable time, energy, and expertise to the organization. The Board, Executive, Representatives and staff of APAS wish him every success in his future pursuits.

A motion was passed at General Council to appoint Vice President Rob Brunel to serve as president leading up to KAP’s annual meeting to be held January 26 to 28, 2011. Brunel operates a fourth-generation grain and oilseeds farm near Ste. Rose du Lac, MB. Brunel was elected to his third term as vice president at KAP's 2010 annual meeting.

Oct 18-22

President Greg Marshall was in Ottawa most of this week to attend the CFA Board meeting, participate in a series of media scrums on key agricultural issues and attend the CFA's 75th Anniversary banquet on Wednesday evening.

On Monday, Greg met with Larry Miller, Conservative MP and the Chair of the Standing Committee on Agriculture. Tuesday's activities included a news conference at the Centre Block of Parliament Hill regarding AG issues and a televised interview on the Business News Network regarding the potential takeover of PotashCorp and the resulting impact on agriculture. Greg also attended one-on-one meetings with Wayne Easter, Liberal Ag Critic as well as Frank Valeriote, Liberal MP, Blake Richards, Conservative MP and Randy Hoback, Conservative MP, who are members  of the Standing Committee on Agriculture. The key areas of discussion in all these meetings were:

On Wednesday, Greg's morning was spent in a meeting with the Canadian Food Processors to solicit their input into the National Food Strategy while the balance of the day, he was involved in the CFA's regular Board of Directors Meeting.

On Wednesday evening, CFA representatives from across Canada were joined by MPs, Senators and other guests to celebrate the CFA's 75th anniversary. Greg was joined at the banquet by Saskatchewan MPs: Ray Boughen, Garry Breitkreuz, Rob Clark, and Ralph Goodale. For more information about the CFA's 75th anniversary, click HERE

Meanwhile the APAS staff are in Regina preparing for the  December 2010 midterm meeting and pursuing a number of important projects.

Oct 25-29

On Monday morning, cool wet weather with lots of heavy snow across the province signaled the first real days of winter. Thankfully the 2010 harvest is largely completed - finally - and what a year it's been.

The APAS office will be busy this week with meetings and events being hosted or attended across the province. On Monday morning, Norm Hall, District Four Director and Chair of the Environment and Food Safety Committee was in Regina in order to attend an ALUS Meeting with Delta Waterfowl and a number of provincial conservation groups.

Monday evening, Greg Marshall and District Two Director and Chair of the Livestock Committee, Norm Nordgulen will be joining the Council and Ratepayers of the RM of Wood River at their annual Ratepayers Supper and Meeting. Norm and Greg will be providing the attendees with a detailed update on APAS activities and current priorities. 

On Tuesday, while the snow continued to fall, Greg and Nial participated in an early morning conference call with the other members of the Prairie Farm Leaders Group regarding the continuing difficulties being faced by livestock producers due to 2010 moisture levels.Their official statement can be seen HERE.

Later Tuesday morning, Greg was at a special event at Choice Family Meats in White City where, along with Choice President Allen Kilback, Greg made a generous donation on behalf of the agricultural producers across the province to the Regina and District Food Banks. The official release and photo are located HERE. Immediately following the event, Greg was on CJVR-FM radio in Regina  discussing the latest agricultural issues with Dave Morgan.

On Tuesday afternoon, Greg and Nial traveled across the pond for a meeting with Minister Bjornerud to discuss a number of current issues and priorities. 

On Wednesday, Greg will be attending a portion of the WFLC's Leading Change and Innovation Conference in Saskatoon, while Norm Hall, Chair of the Environment Committee will attend the SEIMA Convention, which is being held in Saskatoon as well.

Thursday will see President Greg Marshall and Vice President Jeff Simpson participating in the FACS organized and APAS sponsored Media Training Workshop in Saskatoon. The one-day workshop is meant to assist and enhance the media training and skills of the leaders and spokespersons of our province's commodity and farm organizations. 

Meanwhile, Nial spent much of the last two days working on the final drafts of the Western Canadian Merchant Bank proposal and Doug Faller, APAS Policy Manager, analyzed and prepared an overview of the Rail Service Review Panel's findings for the Board meeting on Friday.

On Thursday, we also distributed the advance notice and registration forms for the 2010 Mid Term Meeting in Regina. For more information and to download the agenda, registration form and other documents, click HERE 

And on Friday morning, the entire APAS Board of Directors and General Manager, Nial Kuyek will be in Saskatoon to participate in the monthly Board of Directors meeting.

That's a glance at the activities that APAS will be participating in this week. Stay tuned for more information as the days unfolds.

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2010

Aug 30-Sept 3, 2010

The Canadian Grain Commission has recently received inquiries regarding the changes to the calculation of moisture shrinkage. As you are aware, primary elevators that artificially dry grain must do so in accordance with Canadian Grain Commission Order 2010 – 34 – Calculation of moisture shrinkage allowance for grain artificially dried at primary elevators. An operator of a licensed primary elevator may dry tough, damp, moist or wet grain at the elevator in accordance with orders of the Commission.

Effective August 1, 2010, licensed primary elevators were no longer allowed to include a 1.1% moisture rebound factor for grain artificially dried at their facilities.The calculation of moisture shrinkage allowance formula can be found at: http://grainscanada.gc.ca/legislation-legislation/orders-arretes/2010/2010-34-eng.htm.

If any additional shrinkage, above the formula allowance, has been deducted from your gross weight, contact the delivery point and request the appropriate refunds be made.In addition, there is an online calculator for your convenience at: http://grainscanada.gc.ca/guides-guides/drying-sechage/cwldd-pprsc-eng.asp. By simply inputting the original moisture, the final moisture and tonnage delivered, it will calculate your gross dry tonnes delivered.Should you require further clarification, please contact the CGC at 1–800–853–6705

 

September 3-18 -

There will be limited weekly updates for September due to scheduled vacations and holidays.  

September 20-24, 2010

We (Aj actually) has been a little lax in keeping the daily updates page current, but with the entire team back in the office for a few days, we (he actually) will be updating numerous pages this week and next.

Last week, in partnership with WRAP and KAP, APAS released the latest results of the Farmers Share of the Cost of Food study at Choice Family Meats in Emerald City.

Over the past three years, Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) of Manitoba, Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), and Wild Rose Agricultural Producers (WRAP) of Alberta have been tracking the prices of an entire week’s worth of groceries for a family of four. On Wednesday, the groups announced the results of the 2010 Farmer’s Share Research Project. For more information about the study and the results, click HERE

And according to the most recent crop report by the Ministry of Agriculture, only fourteen per cent of the province's 2010 crop has been combined. An additional 36 per cent is swathed or ready to straight-combine. The five-year provincial average (2005 to 2009) for this time of year is 51 per cent combined and an additional 30 per cent swathed or ready to straight-combine.

Another week of significant rainfall in most areas of the province continues to delay harvest progress with a majority of crop damage being caused by continuing rain, disease and wind. Below-zero temperatures were recorded in some areas of the province recently and most fields are very wet, making harvest difficult. Farmers are trying to haul bales, complete fall work, continue harvesting and remain optimistic.

APAS General Manager Nial Kuyek, and Communication Consultant Aj Thakker will be in Saskatoon later this week, hosting the twenty two managers from CFA Member organizations for the 2010 meeting. The managers strive to meet at least twice per year in order to increase collaboration and cooperation between the groups and to facilitate increased communications amongst all member organizations. The managers will be meeting on Thursday and Friday but will get a chance to celebrate Saskatchewan on Thursday evening when they will experience a unique evening at Calories on Broadway in Saskatoon. Nial will be preparing a short report outlining the meetings discussions later this week. 

Sept 27-October 1

A large yellow ball appeared to be floating in the sky across the Prairies this weekend. No one seemed to know exactly what it was. Some respected experts called it the 'sun" but local residents are surprised and baffled as its been so long that we have seen days like this. Forecast clear skies over the weekend and continuing into this week and next bodes well for Saskatchewan farmers. 

According to the September 20 Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report, only eighteen per cent of the 2010 crop had been combined.  An additional 41 per cent was swathed or ready to straight-combine. Frost affected most of the province on Sept. 17 and 18. For more detail Click [HERE]

This week, President Marshall will be at his farm working long hot hours to complete their harvest and to help the neighbors to do the same. 

Policy Manager Doug Faller is away traveling and visiting friends in Europe for the next two weeks. For all policy matters, please call Nial Kuyek, General Manager. 

Meanwhile, Nial , Aj and Tara will be at the APAS office throughout this week working on a variety of projects and administrative details. 

This week, APAS met with representatives from Agribition, who had heard about APAS' involvement with the Farm Progress Show International  and were excited to have APAS involved with the 2010 Agribition International Business Reception. We also met with Maura Gillis-Cipywnyk, Director, Institutional Advancement for the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture to discuss how we can partner with and promote their organization and its programs. Additional discussions were held with WeatherFarm to highlight some of the information the WeatherBug program can provide to Saskatchewan producers. Click HERE for more information.   

 

August 2010

August 3-6, 2010

Monday was a civic holiday across Canada, so APAS staff spent the long weekend celebrating the remaining days of summer with family and friends. President Greg Marshall is back from the Halifax CFA Semi-annual summer meeting, but General Manager Nial Kuyek will be away on vacation throughout this week traveling the North East US. 

Meanwhile, Policy Manager Doug Faller has been working with a number of affiliated groups to refine the agenda and planning for the 2010 Food Symposium that will be held in Saskatoon this November. Doug and his committee have an exciting and imaginative agenda planned for attendees that will be interactive, engaging and thought-provoking.

In addition , this week we received a note from Brian O'Hearne, President of eWeatherRisk, Inc. As a follow up to eWeatherRisk's presentation at a recent APAS AGM and the high volume of calls that have been received from Saskatchewan producers interested in these programs, Brian O' Hearne sent additional information for interested APAS members. To download and review the PDF presentation, click [HERE]. To learn even more, contact your local APAS Director or call Brian directly at 913 749 7738 or email him at brian.ohearne@eweatherrisk.com.  

August 9-13, 2010

The latest crop report from the Ministry of Agriculture indicates that Saskatchewan producers have over 82 per cent of the hay crop cut and 60 per cent baled or put into silage; though high humidity and rain showers continue to slow haying progress in some parts of Saskatchewan. Thunderstorms continue in many parts of the province, dropping hail and large amounts of rain, and leaving crops one to two weeks behind normal development in most areas of the province. The majority of crop damage is being caused by flooding and hail, insects, disease, gophers and wind.

General Manager Nial Kuyek and President Greg Marshall are back in the office this week, updating the staff on the recent CFA meeting and getting up to speed on current office activities. The APAS team will be busy over the next few weeks finalizing the planning and agendas for the CFA Managers Meeting in September and the Food Symposium in November, both being hosted in Saskatoon this year.

On Monday, Greg, Nial and Doug spent the morning providing each other with updates recent meetings and projects, while Aj was at Over the Hills Orchard with the crew of the Saskcess series. The afternoon was spent in a group discussion to plan and coordinate a number of important meetings to be held throughout the remainder of the week.

On Tuesday, the APAS executive and staff will spend a large portion of the day managing independent projects, updating various media, completing weekly reports and returning calls missed during the past several weeks. 

On Thursday, Nial and Doug will be traveling to Saskatoon to meet with representatives from the Canola sector to discuss contract issues and concerns that have been raised by the membership at recent AGMs. As well on Thursday, APAS and ACC Farmers Financial will be meeting with officials from Western Economic Development to explore funding options in order to develop an agricultural merchant bank in Saskatchewan. In addition, Nial and Doug met with the Canola Development Council and the Canola Growers of Saskatchewan to discuss projects and plans that are of mutual interest. 

On Friday , the Economic Trade & Strategic Growth and the Environment Committees will be meeting in Saskatoon to further discuss and develop policy positions on a variety of current issues.  For more information, please click HERE.

While on the topic of committees, welcome to the following new committee members

For more information about our Policy Committees, click HERE. 

August 16-20, 2010

On Monday, Bob Freisen of FNA-STAG is at the APAS office to meet with APAS Executives prior to the joint District 4 & 5 meeting that will take place later today in Humboldt.

The Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS) will be hosting a joint District 4 & District 5 Representatives meeting on Monday, August 16 in Humboldt, Saskatchewan.  Attendees will include APAS RM Reps and local RM council members.The meeting begins at 3:00 pm at the Bella Vista Inn on Highway 5. 

Following the meeting and prior to dinner, Greg Marshall, APAS President and Bob Friesen, CEO of the Farmers of North America’s Strategic Agriculture Institute (FNA-STAG) will be announcing an important new partnership to benefit APAS members across the province.

And in other news,XL Foods Inc. announced last Friday that it has served notice to employees that the Moose Jaw plant will be shut down permanently within 90 days.

Brian Nilsson, CEO of XL, said the closure is for business and economic reasons, citing the Alberta-based company's failure to reach a new contract with the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

About 140 employees have been picketing the plant since they were locked out in September 2009.

Union officials held a meeting with employees at the Moose Jaw & District Labour Council offices to discuss the closure. Norm Neault, president of Local 1400, said employees were surprised and disappointed by the announcement. ``It's a big hit to this community,'' he said. ``The fact they were locked out for a year and they did not close it, they brought in CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) in April to preserve their accreditation and did not give any indication there was going to be a complete closure.''

Neault said the union hopes to negotiate a closure agreement with XL that would deal with severance and job retraining.

Mayor Glenn Hagel called the closure of XL Beef a very sad day for Moose Jaw.``One cannot help but be most sympathetic to the people most affected by this and that's the employees of XL Beef,'' he said. Hagel said the closure shows how much Moose Jaw needs to continue to develop economically.

APAS' BOD met by conference call on Tuesday morning to discuss the issue and to prepare APAS official response on behalf of Saskatchewan's agricultural community. On Tuesday afternoon, APAS staff met to discuss the XL closure, current weather conditions and the risk and implications of an early frost and the significant media response to yesterday's announcement regarding the APAS-FNA partnership.

Aug 23-27, 2010

The big news last week was the permanent closing of the XL beef plantr in Moose Jaw, the hostile takeover bid of Potash Corp and the joint announcement by FNA and APAS offering a significant discount on new FNA memberships for APAS members. 

According to the crop reports from the week of Aug 10-16, less than one per cent of the crop has been combined. When broken down by crop, six per cent of the winter wheat and fall rye and three per cent of the lentils and peas have been combined. The five-year provincial average (2005 to 2009) for this time of year is five per cent combined. The wet and cool weather has delayed crop maturity and slowed harvest. 

Doug Faller, APAS Policy Manager did get a chance to swath his canola last week, just ahead of Sunday's big rainfall. This week, the APAS team are all in the office following up on various projects and planning for the September CFA Managers' Meeting which will be held on Sept 23 and 24 in Saskatoon.

On Monday, APAS staff worked on a variety of upcoming projects, including the development of a new sponsorship program and the coordination of a special Weather Network report on the continuing rains and current crop conditions. 

On Tuesday morning, notice went by fax or email to all District One Reps to announce that there will be a District Conference Call on Wednesday morning at 8 am. And on Tuesday afternoon, APAS will launch our RM Election pages to provide all even numbered RMs with all the appropriate materials required for the upcoming APAS Rep elections.

On Wednesday, APAS executive management participated in a District One Conference call. In the news this week, the stalemate continues between Canada and Mexico over canaryseed exports. Mexico has new weed seed regulations that hold and test any shipments from Canada found to contain quarantine weed seeds.The zero tolerance policy includes wild buckwheat and stinkweed. The Canadian Special Crops Association has responded by extending the period for export contracts. Canada is Mexico's largest supplier of canaryseed. 

 

 

 

 

July 2010

July 5-26 2010

AJ is on vacation in souteast asia this week , so there will  be no weekly updates intil the end of the month. 

July 26-30, 2010

Saskatchewan producers have 66 per cent of the hay crop cut and 38 per cent baled or put into silage, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly Crop Report.

The quality of the hay crop is rated as 19 per cent excellent, 58 per cent good and 10 per cent fair. Haying has progressed furthest in the south, where 73 per cent of the crop has been cut and 47 per cent baled or put into silage. Haying is progressing slowly due to high humidity; however, the relatively clear weather during the past week has allowed producers to make up some of the time lost in previous weeks. Thunderstorms continue in parts of the province, dropping hail and large amounts of rain.

Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as 29 per cent surplus, 68 per cent adequate and three per cent short. Topsoil moisture on hay land and pasture is rated as 18 per cent surplus, 77 per cent adequate, four per cent short and one per cent very short.

The warmer weather in the past two weeks has helped advance crops; however, most are still one to two weeks behind normal in development. Eighty-three per cent of the winter wheat, 88 per cent of the fall rye, 89 per cent of the triticale and 79 per cent of the peas are in good to excellent condition. Seventy-seven per cent of the spring wheat, 83 per cent of the durum, 78 per cent of the oats, 76 per cent of the barley, 80 per cent of the flax, 71 per cent of the canola, 81 per cent of the mustard, 77 per cent of the lentils, 78 per cent of the canaryseed and 97 per cent of the chickpeas are in fair to good condition.

 

At the APAS office, with Communications Consultant, Aj Thakker back following a fantastic trip to Southeast Asia, daily updates resumed as the Canadian Federation of Agriculture hosts its Semi-Annual Meeting from July 27 - 29. APAS participants to the Halifax meeting are President Greg Marshall, Directors Arlynn Kurtz and Todd Lewis, and General Manager Nial Kuyek. For more information, click HERE

June 2010

May 31- June 4

President Greg Marshall was in Lloydminster alongside representatives of the livestock sector on Monday morning as Federal Agriculture and Agri Food Canada Minister Gerry Ritz, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud and Alberta Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Jack Hayden announced the 2010 Pasture Recovery Initiative. For more information, click HERE.

Meanwhile, APAS staff continued to focus on the upcoming Buying Local Feeding Global Reception, which will take place on June 15 as the kick off to the 2010 FPS.

This week's big news was Thursday's announced by Minister Ritz and Minster Bjornerud extending the 2010 crop insurance deadlines. With much of the province affected by excessive moisture, the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) is working to help its customers by extending seeding deadlines. Learn more HERE

Please note that Greg Marshall will be out of the office the remainder of this week, but is available for urgent matters. For all other matters, please contact Nial Kuyek, General Manager.  

June 7-11

Final plans are underway for the Buying Local Feeding Global Reception at Farm Progress Show 2010. Over 60 vendors and suppliers are finalizing their menu items and preparing to deliver an international menu for the International Business Centre Reception.  

June 15-19

Farm Progress Show is on this week and APAS executive and staff will be at the show throughout the week, attending various meeting and hosting a series of seminars on Rail Freight Transportation.  In addition, APAS is hosting nearly one thousand guests at the International Business Centre Reception on Tuesday evening. The menu will feature over 60 locally sourced and prepared menu items that will highlight our province's food production and processing industries.

June 21-25

Well we finally got a few days of warm weather and sunshine - mostly too late to help prairie farmer with late seeding. Last week's Star Phoenix featured an excellent story by James Wood about Minister Ritz's reaction to the extreme weather conditions that have hampered Prairie farmers and ranchers this year. Minister Ritz called the wet farmland in Saskatchewan a "disaster" that should trigger funding for farmers from the federal program (AgriRecovery) aimed at providing agricultural relief when such a catastrophe strikes. Read the whole story HERE 

June 28 - July 2

On Wednesday we toured some areas worst hit by the continuing wet conditions with the Honourable Ralph Goodale, MP. Mr Goodale's office also provided APAS with a copy of the Ag Canada map detailing just how sever the conditions are this year.   Click HERE to see the map or to download additional information. 

Greg Marshall has disappeared on his annual fishing trip, leaving his blackberry behind and trusting the staff and BOD to mange things effectively in his absence.

Nial and Doug started the week early by attending and participating in  the Farming For Profit conference that began in Moose Jaw on Sunday. Meanwhile Aj prepared for his overseas vacation and continued the development of the Saskcess Stories series. This week, we will be visiting K-1 Bison Farms near Weyburn.

And welcome to the Saskatchewan Bison Association and the Saskatchewan Horse Federation as they join APAS as Associate Members.     

May 2010

May 3-7

It's Monday morning and APAS staff are all back in the office. After another weekend of rain across large swaths of the province,  it's nice to feel the sun shining again.  Nail is back from vacation and on a conference call early Monday morning with the GMs of WRAP and KAP as we plan a number of cooperative activities.

APAS President Greg Marshall is back from Ottawa where he met with other Canadian farm leaders at the CFA's BOD meeting. He's on his way to the farm to take care of the family business today but will be back in the office on Tuesday. And Policy Manager Doug Faller took advantage of the break in rain to haul a load of canola from his farm. Doug will be back in the office tomorrow as well.  

Last week; since GM Nial Kuyek was on vacation, President Greg Marshall was in Ottawa, Doug Faller was in Saskatoon and the BOD members were all out hauling grain; Communications Consultant Aj Thakker was invited to present the Executive Summary of APAS' Study on Inter-generational and New Entrant Transfer Programs to the Standing Committee on Agriculture when they met in Lanigan last week.

As a result of APAS presentation, the Standing Committee has requested that we also submit the complete report as a formal written submission to be included in the current consultation and study being undertaken by the Committee.

This week, Policy Manager Doug Faller completed and forwarded APAS' submission to the Panel of the Rail Freight Service Review on behalf of farmers and ranchers in Saskatchewan. As indicated in the Panel's call letter for submissions, all submissions will be posted on the Rail Freight Service Review website at http://www.tc.gc.ca/policy/acg/rfs-review-examen-sfm/sbmsns-eng.htm

A number of emerging provincial issues seem to be at the forefront this week - including last week's announcements of changes to the Wildlife Protection Act and the signing of the New West Trade Agreement.

On Thursday, APAS attended a Comprehensive Wildlife Habitat Protection Act and Conservation Leasing Easement Act Briefing by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environment. In attendance alongside APAS were a number of wildlife and agricultural groups. APAS is studying both announcements with an eye on their impacts on agricultural producers.

APAS staff will be in the office this weekend reviewing the changes to the Comprehensive Wildlife Habitat Protection Act and Conservation Leasing Easement Act in order to present our response early next week. 

May 10-14

Monday morning started early with President Greg Marshall, GM Nial Kuyek and Policy Manger Doug Faller participating in an 8 am conference call of the Economic Trade and Strategic Growth Committee.

Greg and Nial also met with the Minister of Agriculture on a variety of topics of mutual concern, including EG&S, the upcoming Federal Provincial Territorial Round-table in Saskatoon, APAS's recent study on Intergenerational Transfer and New Entrant Programs and our submission to the Rail Freight Service Review Panel and APAS' event at the upcoming Farm Progress Show.

The day  turned into evening as APAS held first conference call meeting of the 2010-2011 Livestock Committee at 8 pm. On the agenda was a frank discussion of the Comprehensive Wildlife Habitat Protection Act and Conservation Leasing Easement Act changes and the impact on farmers and ranchers in our province.   

On Tuesday morning, APAS BOD members were on the line participating in an early morning conference call. Following the meeting, APAS released a statement supporting the amendments proposed by the Provincial Government for the Conservation Easements Act and the Wildlife Habitat Protection Act. Greg spent the later part of the morning fielding interview from local and provincial media requests. 

Tuesday afternoon, APAS met with representatives of ACC Farmers Financial and  representatives of the provincial ministry of agriculture to discuss the unique financial needs of young farmers.

On Wednesday, Aj was in Saskatoon meeting with a number of food processors and producers in order to develop the menu for the upcoming Buying Global reception. Nial was at the office attending to a variety of projects and Greg spent much of this week participating in media interviews on a variety of issues - including Farm Income projections for this crop year,  the Comprehensive Wildlife Habitat Protection Act and Conservation Leasing Easement Act changes and rail freight transportation.

On Thursday, the staff spent much of the day immersed in individual projects and preparing the office for the arrival of APAS' new Senior Administrative Assistant, Tara Pelle, who will be joining us Monday. 

On Friday, Nial was off to Saskatoon for the ACS Strategic Planning Session and Doug and Greg took advantage of the warm weather to  attend to to attend to some long-delayed farm work. Aj was at the office editing segments of video for the CFA and following up on calls to the commodity groups to invite their participation in the FPS promotion.

May 17-21

Welcome to Tara Pelle, APAS new senior administrative assistant, who started this morning.Monday morning was spent participating in a number of meetings and conference calls and getting Tara set  up with a computer and the information she needs to get started in her new role.Nial, Greg, Aj and Doug will all be out this afternoon, but Sonia will be here to provide Tara with a complete orientation to the office.

Most of this week was spent working on a variety of projects, including further planning on a proposed Food Symposium, the FPS reception, and assisting Tara as she establishes her role at APAS.

May 24- 28

Monday was Victoria Day across Canada, and the unofficial start to summer for cottage owners and weekend hikers alike. Saskatchewan farmers had about 55 per cent of the 2010 crop seeded, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly Crop Report, well below the five-year average for this time of year at 81 per cent complete. Rain late in the week slowed seeding throughout most of the province but pasture conditions have improved since last month, and are now rated as 39 per cent excellent, 53 per cent good and eight per cent fair. Ninety-six per cent of livestock producers have adequate water supplies for their livestock, while four per cent are short of water for their animals. 

APAS staff spent most of a shortened week attending to various office duties and project task while President Greg Marshall spent most fo the week speaking to members of the media regarding farm income levels and other important issues.

April 2010

Mar 29-Apr 2

APAS staff were back in the office this week , following up from the recent AGM and catching up on Administrative details following last week's highly successful meetings. Explore the website over the next few weeks for a number of overdue updates, including a complete report and photos from our the AGM and Buying Local Feeding Global reception.  

On Monday afternoon, President Greg Marshall and General Manager Nial Kuyek left for the RM of Torch River, where they  provided the keynote presentation to nearly 200 RM ratepayers. We look forward to the RM of Torch River joining APAS in the very near future.

As well on Monday afternoon, APAS responded to last week's announcement regarding XL Beef in Moose Jaw. Click [HERE] to read more.

On Tuesday, Director Norm Hall was in Regina as Chair of the Environmental Committee to meet with Delta Waterfowl as APAS continues to work towards the establishment of an EG&S Demonstration Site in Saskatchewan. 

And APAS Executive, Board, Reps and staff would like to extend a warm welcome the council and ratepayers of the RM of Torch River; who voted earlier this week to join APAS and add their voice to Saskatchewan's general farm organization. 

Wednesday morning was spent participating in a number of  conference calls and then meeting with Rob O'Connor of the Farm Progress Show to discuss how APAS, STEP and SFPA might partner to host the FPS' International Business Centre Reception on June 15.

APAS will be discussing the option with STEP and SFPA this week and is meeting with the Show organizers again early next week to outline possible promotional programs.   

On Thursday morning, we finalized and posted the job description for a new Senior Administrative Assistant for the APAS office. As many of you know, Sonia will be retiring at the end of April and we hope to have a new Admin Assistant hired and trained prior to Sonia's retirement. To learn more about the position and preferred qualifications, please click [HERE]. 

APAS offices will be closed on Friday, April 2, 2010.   Have a safe and happy Easter weekend everyone.

Apr 5-9, 2010

With numerous government and corporate offices closed across Canada today, APAS staff took advantage of the quiet to catch up on many ongoing projects. 

This week, APAS looks forward to meetings with the RM of Garry and the RM of Lumsden as we continue to expand APAS membership to new and returning RMs.

Doug Faller is preparing to travel to the Hudson Bay Route Association Meeting on the 9th/10th whee he will be presenting on APAS recent activities on the grain transportation file.  President Greg Marshall will be Winnipeg at a special meeting of the Prairie Farm Leaders group later this week. 

And APAS, STEP and SFPA continue to receive warm wishes and congratulatory messages for the Buying Local Feeding Global reception we hosted on March 22. We will be posting some photos from the event on this site later this week. All three organizations will be discussing additional partnership opportunities in the very near future. Apr 12-16

The Board of Directors will be in town later this week to participate in their monthly meeting.

On Monday, Nial and Aj met with representatives from AAFC and Enterprise Saskatchewan to outline APAS' plans for the FPS in June. We will be meting with STEP, Tourism and SFPA in the upcoming days.Tuesday was largely spent completing administrative duties and preparing for the BOD meeting tomorrow. 

BOD members arrived in Regina late Wednesday afternoon to work in the office on specific projects or to prepare for tonight's meetings. The BOD meeting began at 6 pm and continued through Thursday.

Aj spent Wednesday and Thursday meeting with various partners and sponsors as APAS prepares for the 2010 FPS. Thanks to Jennifer Evancio for the time she spent with Nial and Aj on Thursday.  

Apr 19-24

Much of this week was spent preparing and finalizing APAS' submission to the Rail Service Review Panel and meeting with partners and sponsors for the International Business Centre reception at Farm Progress Show, which APAS will be coordinating this year.  

Apr 26-30

President Greg Marshall is in Ottawa this week attending the CFA BOD meeting and General Manager Nial Kuyek is visiting Farmers Markets in the US as part of his vacation.

Policy Manager Doug Faller will be attending the Carbon Credits Consultations in Saskatoon and Communications Consultant, Aj Thakker will be participating in the Standing Committee on Agriculture's study on Young Farmers in Lanigan on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, BOD members and Reps across the province are hauling grain and preparing to seed the 2010 crop. The forecast calls for cool weather and a bit of rain this week, but it really did not come down until Thursday, when the entire province was covered in rain (and even a bit of snow) .

March 2010

Mar 01-05

Welcome to Budget month - when both the Federal and Provincial budgets will be announced. That means that in addition to preparing for the AGM, APAS executives and staff will be monitoring the throne speeches and both budgets carefully to ensure that producer rights continue to be protected.

This week, both President Greg Marshal and General Manager Nial Kuyek will be traveling across the province attending RM Council Meetings in order to expand APAS membership. To date, the response has been positive, with a number of RMS returning to active membership status and two or three new RMS who have joined our organization.

In addition, Policy Manager Doug Faller has been traveling extensively as all four of of APAS Policy Committees and the Governance Committee held meetings this week in order to discuss policy details and to prepare resolutions for discussion and debate at the upcoming AGM.

Mar 8-12

This week, the Association's staff and executives will be largely focused on the final prepearions2010 AGM. Sonia Korpus, APAS Administrative Assistant will be away on vacation this week and Doug Faller, Policy Manager is away for a day or two dealing with a personal issue. 

On Monday, Director Norm Hall attended the Ministry of the Environment's consultations on results based regulations while the Finance Committee met at the APAS office to review the annual financial statements form the auditor. 

Tonight General Manager Nial Kuyek, President Greg Marshall and Directors Norm Hall and David Spencer will be meeting with the RM of Clayton.  David and Greg will also be attending the SARM convention throughout the week and Greg will also be traveling to Saskatoon on Thursday morning for the monthly two-day meeting of the WGRF BOD.

Tuesday morning, Aj will be participating in a conference call to further detail the Buying Local Feeding Global Reception that will be taking place on Monday March 22 in partnership with STEP and SFPA.

Stay tuned to this page for further updates as our week progresses.

Mar 15-19

Final preparations are underway for the 10th anniversary AGM next week. Click HERE to link to the latest updates on the AGM or to download the Agenda or Registration Form. 

Nial Kuyek and Greg Marshall traveled to the RMs of Paddock Wood and Barrier Valley on Monday to discuss potential membership with the councils and ratepayers of both RMs. On Tuesday , the staff spent the day working on key tasks for next week''s meetings. Greg is off tot he RM of Arbourfield on Wednesday while Norm Hall meets with the RMs of Big Quill and Emerald to update them on APAS activities.    

Mar 22-26

The APAS are attending their 10th anniversary AGM this week at the Regina Inn. For more info, click [HERE]. The BOD will be at a meeting all day Monday and Aj is running around finalizing details for tonight's reception and this week's meetings. Since the office is closed, you can reach Aj at 306 531 7955. 

Monday night was an exceptional evening of excellent food and culture - all grown from our own fields. Nearly two hundred guests from the SFPA, STEP and APAS gathered at the Queensbury Convention Centre to celebrate Saskatchewan.

Tuesday morning began with addresses by President Greg Marshall and General Manager Nial Kuyek; followed by Policy meetings and reports. CFA President Laurent Pellerin spent the morning fielding media requests from the Western Producer, Regina Leader Post, and a number of provincial radio stations prior to appearing as Jim Smalley' special guest on the Newline at Noon show on CKRM. 

Tuesday afternoon was spent discussing potential changes at the CGC and hearing from representatives of the provincial livestock sector and their emerging policy needs. Delegates will be breaking at 3:30 for a short refreshment break and then will reconvene at 4 pm to hear form the Minister of Agriculture, the Honourable Bob Bjornerud.

Mar 29-Apr 2

APAS staff were back in the office this week , following up from the recent AGM and catching up on Administrative details following last week's highly successful meetings. Explore the website over the next few weeks for a number of overdue updates, including a complete report and photos from our the AGM and Buying Local Feeding Global reception.  

On Monday afternoon, President Greg Marshall and General Manager Nial Kuyek left for the RM of Torch River, where they  provided the keynote presentation to nearly 200 RM ratepayers. We look forward to the RM of Torch River joining APAS in the very near future.

As well on Monday afternoon, APAS responded to last week's announcement regarding XL Beef in Moose Jaw. Click [HERE] to read more.

On Tuesday, Director Norm Hall was in Regina as Chair of the Environmental Committee to meet with Delta Waterfowl as APAS continues to work towards the establishment of an EG&S Demonstration Site in Saskatchewan. 

And APAS Executive, Board, Reps and staff would like to extend a warm welcome the council and ratepayers of the RM of Torch River; who voted earlier this week to join APAS and add their voice to Saskatchewan's general farm organization. 

Wednesday morning was spent participating in a number of  conference calls and then meeting with Rob O'Connor of the Farm Progress Show to discuss how APAS, STEP and SFPA might partner to host the FPS' International Business Centre Reception on June 15.

APAS will be discussing the option with STEP and SFPA this week and is meeting with the Show organizers again early next week to outline possible promotional programs.   

On Thursday morning, we finalized and posted the job description for a new Senior Administrative Assistant for the APAS office. As many of you know, Sonia will be retiring at the end of April and we hope to have a new Admin Assistant hired and trained prior to Sonia's retirement. To learn more about the position and preferred qualifications, please click [HERE]. 

APAS offices will be closed on Friday, April 2, 2010.   Have a safe and happy Easter weekend everyone.

 

February 2010

Feb 1-5, 2010

Welcome to the beginning of February!  Most communities across the province are fully recovered from last week's snow and looking forward to an early spring thaw. Nial left for two well deserved weeks of vacation in California over the weekend. Greg, Doug, Aj and Sonia will be at the office this week preparing for the 2010 AGM. A unique and exciting agenda has been finalized and notices will be going to all speakers and special guests this week. (Now you know what the staff are focusing their efforts on this week)

Director Norm Hall attended the Sask Young Ag Entrepreneurs AGM last week. His meeting report is located [HERE]. And Directors Garth Burns, Norm Hall, Don Connick and Kevin Gilbert are out meeting with RM Councils this week and next as we expand our membership.  

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, APAS staff spent time managing on-going projects and preparing for the 2010 AGM.

On Thursday, Aj spent the morning on a conference call with representatives from STEP, SFPA and Evraz Place in order to discuss a possible joint event on March 22 to kick off our 10th annual AGM. Thank you to Jennifer Evancio of STEP, Kim Hill & Kerry Krzyzaniak of SFPA and Bim Pandya of Evraz Place for the time they committed this morning and for their enthusiastic participation, excellent ideas and committed partnerships. APAS looks forward to enhancing these partnerships in the weeks and months to come.

For a look at the previous weeks' activities, click HERE

SPECIAL NOTE: We apologize for the error which resulted in the Inter-generational  & New Entrant report download links not functioning properly. The issue has been corrected and we encourage you to read the Executive Summary or the complete report. Both documents are available as PDF files [HERE].

Feb 8-12

Director David Spencer is back in Saskatchewan after an exciting stay in Southeast Asia. Welcome back David - by the way, it's your turn to shovel!

While GM Nial Kuyek is still vacationing in California, President Greg Marshall and a number of District Directors will be traveling to various RM meetings throughout the early part of this week. Greg will also be attending the Saskatchewan Conservation and Development Association AGM in Saskatoon.For the full list of this week's meetings, scroll down this page. 

Meanwhile, Policy Manager Doug Faller will be attending the 2010 SSCA Annual Conference in Regina while Aj and Sonia hold down the office. And as usual, any time available will be spend coordinating the upcoming tenth annual AGM.    

On Monday, Aj had the pleasure of welcoming Jennifer Evancio and Janice Lawless from Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership (STEP) to the APAS office as APAS and STEP traded reciprocal memberships in each others' organizations.  We look forward to working with Jennifer and Janice and the STEP team in the months to come.

On Tuesday, APAS staff worked quietly on individual projects and key activities, while APAS BOD members criss-crossed their districts meeting with RM councils. 

Greg Marshall started Wednesday participating in an interview with well known radio host, Alice McFarlane. Aj participated in the second conference call of the planning committee for the "Buying Local Feeding Global" SaskMade Showcase event for March 22.

Thanks to the RM Councils who invited us to their meetings this week. We appreciate the time you spent with us and especially appreciate your support towards the continued growth of the organization. 

On Friday, APAS staff spent a better part of the day upgrading and maintaining the email, internet and telephone systems in the office. We apologize for any inconvinince this may have caused our members, board or reps.  

Feb 15-19, 2010

Monday was Family Day across the province and APAS staff and Board members (and hopefully all of you) spent quality time with your loved ones.

Nial was back in the country - and the office - over the weekend and spent Sunday afternoon and Monday evening getting caught up and ready for this week, which should be unusually busy due to Tuesday's BOD meeting and the upcoming CFA AGM.

On Tuesday, the BOD all arrived in Regina early in the morning in order to finalize details for APAS' participation at the CFA AGM and to prepare for our own AGM net month.

The balance of the week will be filled with a variety of meetings and conference calls to update projects and finalize arrangements for upcoming events, including a number of ratepayer meetings that APAS has been invited to attend next month.

As this week ends and the next begins, APAS staff and Executive will be hopping on Air Canada or Westjet planes en route to the CFA's AGM and 75th Anniversary celebrations in Ottawa. Stay tuned to this site throughout next week for daily reports and photos live from the convention floor - we hope.

Download the latest CFA Activity Report by scrolling down the TODAY page to "Documents and Downloads"   

Feb 22-26

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture held its' 75th annual meeting  this week in Ottawa, proudly working for farmers since 1935. We were honoured that APAS was able to represent the interests and concerns of Saskatchewan producers on the national stage.

APAS was successful in having ten resolutions adopted into CFA policy; dealing with topics such as livestock, transportation, trade and Business Risk Management programs. This success is indicative of the hard work put into the new resolution process that our grassroots members have put together so successfully.

We look forward to continuing this process at our upcoming AGM on March 23 and 24 and to welcoming a number of returning and new RMs to the APAS family.  

APAS was ably represented at the CFA meeting by President Greg Marshall, VP Don Connick and Policy Manager, Doug Faller for the two day meeting. 

Monday was an especially long day of Policy Committee meetings that ran from 7 am to 9 pm. The only real break was when the Federal Minister of Agriculture and AgriFoods, the Honourable Gerry Ritz took time from his busy travel schedule to address the delegates on Monday afternoon. In addition to his address, the Minister was able to answer a number of important questions posed by the member farm organizations.

Tuesday morning was largely committed to covering the general business of the organization and launching the CFA's 75th anniversary activities. Past President Don Knoerr was unable to travel to attend the meeting in person  but was able to provide greeting from his home in BC. Don spoke eloquently about the passion and commitment of the organization's past leaders, member organizations and talented and committed staffs. 

Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning , delegates heard form a variety of speakers and panels on a number of current and emerging agricultural issues. For a complete look at the CFA's 75th AGM agenda, please click [HERE]     

Following the meeting's adjournment on Wednesday afternoon. the CFA Board of Directors and the CFA National Council also met. Member delegates not required to stay for these meetings headed for the airport to catch flights home, hopefully in time to catch a bit of Olympic Hockey (Go Canada Go!!). For many delegates from Western Canada, Wednesday evening was spent with old friends from across the county (or new friends just met in airports) , cheering on Canada's Olympic athletes in their quest for gold.

APAS Executives and staff were back in the office on Friday morning, following up on missed emails and phone calls and updating Nial Kuyek , GM on the activities in Ottawa. Friday afternoon was spent revising the March events calendar and finalizing some of the AGM details.     

 

 

 

January 2010

Jan 4-8, 2010

Welcome to 2010. APAS Executive and staff are back in the office this week and ready to tackle another year of agricultural issues on behalf of Prairie farm families.

On Monday, President Greg Marshall and General Manager Nial Kuyek met with the staff group to update each other on recent agricultural issues and to outline the key priorities for the upcoming weeks.The afternoon was spent laying out an aggressive calendar of meetings and events for the first quarter of 2010.

On Tuesday, Nial and Greg participated in a conference call with Andy Schmidt regarding the 2010 Farming for Profit Conference and at 11 the Executive Committee will be on a conference call to follow-up on key issues assigned to the Committee by the BOD at their December meeting. The meeting concluded at 1:00 pm and President Marshall will be en route to the WRAP conference in Edmonton following a review of the Prairie Farm Leaders Meeting agenda with the staff.

Nial was back in the office through the evening as District One Directors Arlynn Kurtz and Ernie Briggs have organized a conference call of District Reps for 9 pm. 

APAS Reps are encouraged to test the convenient new Weekly President's Voice Message by calling 1-306-789-7774 and pressing 02 (zero then two).  

On Wednesday, Greg Marshall attended the WRAP AGM  while GM Nial Kuyek and Aj Thakker had the pleasure of meeting with Brent Bender and Mike Hoffort of FCC in order to update them on APAS activities. APAS looks forward to enhancing this relationship in the months to come.

On Wednesday afternoon and evening, APAS staff worked late into the evening to complete the first monthly E-newsletter. It was distributed electronically to all RMs and Reps on Thursday afternoon and is available for download HERE.

On Thursday, Greg Marshall was attending the WRAP AGM and GM Nial Kuyek left for a week of vacation.  APAS staff will spend the day and Friday preparing for CPS 2010 next week. 

On Friday, President Greg Marshall attended the Prairie Farm Leaders Meeting in Alberta and spent the afternoon fielding media calls and participating in joint television interviews with the leaders of WRAP and KAP.  Greg will be back in Regina over the weekend and will be attending CPS beginning next week. 

Jan 11-15, 2010

Join us at the Crop Production Show in Saskatoon this week as we take action on two major resolutions passed at our Winter Mid Term Meeting.

We asked visitors at Booth B26 during the tradeshow to complete two important questionnaires on Technical, Production and Marketing Contracts and the use of Producer Cars over the past three years. The information gathered, along with the results of a wider survey will be used to further develop and refine APAS activities and focus.

It is interesting to note that both the Minister of Agriculture and the Leader of the Official Opposition both made comments on the producer car issue this week. Click [HERE] to see what they said. 

Policy Manager Doug Faller was busy over past weekend as early Monday morning he posted a number of new pages under our Grain Transportation Policy page. Learn about the Cost of Capital Methodology Review and the Industry Development Fund Review

APAS Directors and Executives were busy this week visiting a dozen RM Councils (both member and non-member) across Saskatchewan to bring them up-to-date on the current issues facing agriculture and APAS current and future focus and to encourage them to join the Association.   

Jan 18-22, 2010

The BOD was in Regina on Monday for their monthly face-to-face meeting. Topics included a review of the AGM agenda, policy activities and the surveys on Producer cars and Contracts that APAS will be distributing this month.

On Tuesday, Director Norm Hall, Environment Committee Chair attended the Ministry of the Environment consultations and then participated along with Nial, Greg and Doug in a meeting with the Ministry's Lyle Saigeon, Executive Director - Fish and Wildlife, and Kevin Murphy Director - Program Evaluation and Performance Measures Office. Talks focused on EG&S, ALUS and water stewardship programs. APAS staff was pleased with the meeting's results and appreciated the opportunity.

On Wednesday, Nial participated in a monthly conference call with the General Managers of KAP & WRAP; and Director Ernie Briggs, and President Greg Marshall will travel to Saskatoon for the Beef Symposium. Staff will spend the day preparing the two surveys tested last week at the Crop Show for province-wide distribution. Our plans call for printed version to be distributed by APAS Reps to producers in their community; an online version accessible from any computer and download-able PDF copies that producers can complete and fax to APAS. 

On Thursday, Greg was at the Beef Conference in Saskatoon while the staff  worked on a number of ongoing projects and activities. We hope to launch the test of our online survey regarding Producer Cars today and launch it LIVE by Friday afternoon.

Jan 25-30, 2010

There's snow. Lots of snow. And it's left Saskatchewan residents stranded and in some cases, without power. According to news reports, heavy snow and strong winds knocked out power to thousands of homes in southern Saskatchewan over the weekend, closed many highways and cutting cellphone and Internet service.

SaskPower says electricity should be restored some time Monday to Coronach, Rockglen and Big Beaver. Power was expected to be back on Sunday night in Ogema, Bengough and Viceroy. SaskTel said the power outages were affecting its cellular, landline and Internet services in some areas of southern Saskatchewan.

Environment Canada issued blizzard and storm warnings Sunday for most of the province and said the extreme winter conditions will likely continue into Monday evening. Environment Canada's spokesperson said wind gusts up to 100 kilometres an hour whipped up snow in Cypress Hills, while other spots have seen 80 km/h winds.

The Trans-Canada Highway from west of Regina to Rush Lake was closed Sunday, as were 20 other highways, including Highway 11 from Regina to Davidson. If any of you do have to travel today, please exercise extreme caution while driving and take the extra time to pack emergency supplies.

APAS staff ended last week with the news that a number of new and returning RMs will be joining us at the March 2010 AGM in Regina. We look forward to welcoming (or welcoming back) these RMs to the APAS family. 

And in the news on Monday morning we see that in the spirit of KAP and APAS working hand-in-hand on regional agricultural issues; the governments of Saskatchewan and Manitoba will hold the first ever joint cabinet meeting in Yorkton on February 2nd. Premiers Brad Wall and Greg Selinger, along with members of their cabinets, will attend the meeting to discuss regional cooperation in the west.Topics for discussion will include highway and transportation, energy and environment and Canada-US relations.

On Tuesday morning, APAS hosted an excellent online Succession Planning Seminar for nearly thirty farm families from across the  province. Strata Benefits has indicated that they will be making a recording of the seminar available within a few weeks to Saskatchewan farm families who were unable to tune in.

Due to the large number of emails and phone messages received, APAS is also considering hosting a second seminar. If you are interested in registering for an online succession planning seminar, please send us a message using our Contact Us message. If we get enough interested participants and can schedule a suitable date, you will be the first to know.

On Wednesday, Vice-President Don Connick and Policy Manager Doug Faller left for the KAP AGM in Winnipeg, while Nial , Aj and Sonia worked on the March AGM agenda and other ongoing projects.

On Friday, Jan 30 we distributed Issue 2 of the APAS in Action Monthly newsletter to APAS Reps and RM offices across the province. If you haven't seen your copy yet, be sure to check your Inbox (or SPAM or JUNKMAIL folder if your incoming email system is set to a custom security level). You can also download the latest issue by clicking [HERE

December 2009

November 30 - December 4, 2009

The APAS 2009 Winter Mid Term Meeting is this week! The meeting will take place on December 2-4 in Regina. While the deadline for registration has passed, you can still register to attend individual sessions until December 1.Call (306) 789-7774 for more information.

On Monday , APAS staff and executive were busy until well past midnight finalizing preparations for the 2008 Winter Mid Term Meeting. The office was humming with activity as we printed and assembled the registration kits.

On Monday evening, Greg Marshall was the guest lecturer for the Ag Policy 251 course at the University of Saskatchewan.

On Tuesday, Greg was scheduled to be the special guest on Listen Up on 91.3 FM CJTR community radio in Regina - but the recording was postponed as Greg was stuck in Saskatoon. Winter finally arrived in Saskatchewan and road conditions across the province were treacherous.

Congratulations to Terry Boehm of Allan, Sk, who was elected as President of the NFU, a chair occupied by the well known Stewart Wells for eight years. APAS looks forward to meeting with Mr. Boehm to address issues of concern to both organizations' members.   

On Wednesday the BOD will be meeting from 8 am to 4 pm; followed by the Rep Orientation at 7 pm and Welcome Reception at 9 at the Regina Inn.

On Thursday morning, a number of APAS spouses will be touring the Legislative Building and attending Question Period as part of the Spouses' agenda - followed by an afternoon of seasonal shopping activities. For more information, call Edie Marshall at 306-586-8310. 

Once the midterm meeting commences on Thursday morning, we will be posting daily photos and updates directly from the meeting location.

For daily MIDTERM MEETING updates, click HERE (Will be updated at least hourly on December 3 and 4.)    

December 7 - 11, 2009

APAS staff were back in the office this week, cleaning up from the highly successful 2009 Winter Mid Term.

Thank you to all the delegates, speakers, panelists and guests who helped make this one of the most successful meetings we have held in the past number of years.

In keeping with our commitment to share our activities online, we provided "live' reports from the floor of the two-day convention. For more information about the meeting, click [HERE] and follow the links for each day's photos and report. We will be updating the 2009 Winter Midterm pages over the next few days to include copies of the presentations and specifics surrounding all of the policy resolutions passed at the meeting. 

On Tuesday morning, Nial Kuyek and Doug Faller braved the frigid weather and icy roads to travel to a meeting with the Council of RM of Grayson # 184 to discuss local ratepayers concerns regarding the impact on local communities of farming activities by large scale corporate interests.

Meanwhile, back in Regina, President Greg Marshall was the special guest on Listen-Up on 91.3 FM CJTR community radio in Regina.    

On Wednesday, it was Greg's turn to hit the road, as he traveled to the RMs of Emerald & Preeceville to update local councils on APAS activities. 

Thursday morning APAS staff gathered in the Boardroom to debrief the last week's policy sessions and to outline a plan for prompt follow-up on the large number of resolutions passed at the Mid Term meeting. In the next few days we will:  

 1   

 

Confirm the final wording and distribute copy of the policy motions passed at the Mid Term Meeting.
 2

 

Post the passed resolutions document online on the Mid Term Meeting page [CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD]  
 3 

Develop a specific action plan to address each resolution and present this plan to the BOD for approval at the December 18 BOD meeting. 

The meeting will continue after lunch with discussions surrounding the agenda for the 10th anniversary AGM in March, publication of the Winter newsletter and the design and development of the new monthly update for reps.

This week's Western Producer has an excellent story regarding the Al Sholtz "New Entrant Programs" report and presentation that APAS encourages you to read. The report is continuing to receive significant media coverage across the province. 

On Friday, the APAS office was relatively tranquil as the annual audit was wrapped up. The staff spent much of the day working on individual projects and tasks that were assigned as follow-up to the Mid Term Meeting.

And through the weekend, Nial will be in the office preparing reports and Aj will be online as the website will receive some much-needed maintenance. 

December 14 - 18, 2009

It's Monday morning and wow it's cold outside! Now that that is out of the way, APAS staff and Executive are in and out of the office this week, continuing follow-up to the midterm meeting

This month marks the first anniversary of the launch of this dynamic website. To celebrate, throughout December, we are undertaking significant maintenance to each section (adding/revising photos, correcting typos, expanding content, etc) and have launched a number of new features that our members have requested.

Click [HERE] to see the weekly President's Report

Click [HERE] to see the weekly General Manager's Report

Click [HERE] to see the new Grain Transportation Policy pages

We will also be providing links to new content directly on the front page portal.

On Monday and Tuesday, staff busied themselves on individual projects and current assignments. Nial and Greg worked closely with Aj to prepare and launch their individual weekly report pages, while Doug focused on the policy sections of the website.

In livestock news, the federal conservatives are being accused of blocking a motion brought before the standing committee on agriculture regarding compensation for the costs of specified risk material (or SRM) removal. Read more [HERE]  

On Wednesday, GM Nial Kuyek and Director David Spencer were attneding a meeting with the Council for the RM of Pleasentdale while Greg Marshall is at the WGRF BOD meeting in Saskatoon. 

On Thursday, Nial hit the road again (with Director Norm Hall) to meet with Administrators, Councillors, Reeves and Reps in a number of District 4 RMs. Doug and Aj are in the office, focusing on website updates and maintenance and Greg is in  Saskatoon attending a strategy planning session for the WGRF's BOD.

The CFA's bi-weekly update arrived in the office today - with some interesting news regarding national livestock support and CN's controversial plan to delist and dismantle producer car sites. clcik [HERE] to download.

On Friday, the BOD will be at an all-day BOD meeting at the Regina Inn. Aj is in the office continuing website updates.

Dec 21-24, 2009

The APAS office will only be open Monday to Wednesday this week, and closed from December 24 to January 5, 2010.

This week, staff and executive will be focused on projects slated for completion in 2009 or action in early 2010. 

On Monday afternoon, the staff group will meet to finalize the layout, content and distribution for the monthly newsletter and to discuss the additional features and options available in the new telephone system that was installed in 2009.  

Other issues that will be actionable this week include the final planning for the CPS  2010 in Saskatoon in January,

Look for enw extensions and additional features when calling APAS at 306 789 7774.

December 24 to January 5, 2010.  - CLOSED

November 2009

November 2-6, 2009

Snow and rain were the major causes of crop damage last month according to the latest Ministry of Agriculture Crop Reports. Snow has caused standing crops to lodge, swaths to settle into the ground and combines and trucks to leave ruts in the fields. There are also reports of wildlife (mostly geese) damaging crops in the swaths. Meanwhile, farmers are baling straw, hauling bales, cleaning corrals, applying fall fertilizer when weather allows and doing whatever they can to get the crop off the field. Hopefully this first week of November will bring some much-needed warm, dry weather to the prairies. 

Over the past weekend, APAS upgraded our office telephone systems in order to better service our members. While basic functions and features are now largely operational, we will be adding additional menu options and features over the next few weeks. Please pay special attention to available menu options when you do call in as staff extensions have changed and additional features will activated over the next few weeks.   

President Greg Marshall will be in Saskatoon much of this week attending a series of meetings and events. Greg's schedule includes meetings with AAFC and the WGRF as well as attendance at the NDP Leadership Dinner in Saskatoon. 

On Wednesday, all odd-numbered RMs held elections for Councils and new APAS reps. APAS looks forward to meeting all the new and returning reps at the Winter Midterm Meeting scheduled for December 2, 3 and 4 in Regina.

On Thursday, GM Nial Kuyek was out of the office attending Council and Ratepayer meetings. Nial and District Four Director David Spencer had an excellent meeting with the RM Council at Garry in the afternoon and APAS looks forward to the opportunity presented by Garry's Council to address local ratepayers at a public meeting in the upcoming weeks.

On Thursday evening, following an update by APAS GM Nial Kuyek to interested citizens in the RM of Moose Creek, ratepayers voted overwhelmingly in support of a motion to rejoin APAS in the upcoming year. APAS directors, reps and staff look forward to the return of the RM of Moose Creek and the active participation of their Rep at the next AGM.

November 9-13, 2009

A slight improvement in weather conditions over the last few days has allowed some producers in some parts of the province to get back into their fields, but harvest is still behind schedule, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's Weekly Crop Report. 

The weekend did bring some welcome news to our province's farmers who are still trying to bring in the 2009 harvest. On Friday, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance (SCIC) recognized there is a significant amount of crop left out in the field and has therefore extended the deadline for 2009 claims and extension requests from November 15 to December 1. If producers believe they are in a claim position and still have crops in the field approaching the extended December 1 deadline, they should contact Crop Insurance to register a claim and an insurance extension.

Crops unable to be harvested until spring will also be eligible for 100 per cent wildlife damage compensation. There are no producer premiums and producers do not require a crop insurance contract to receive this compensation. 

On Monday, President Greg Marshall and Policy Manager Doug Faller will be attending a CWB update in Saskatoon, while GM Nial Kuyek participates in the monthly APAS/KAP/WRAP Managers' Conference Call here in Regina. Meanwhile office staff will be busy preparing and distributing official notifications and invitations for the upcoming the December Mid Term Meeting.  

The office will be closed on Wednesday, November 11 in recognition of Remembrance Day, and on Thursday morning Greg will be in Saskatoon to meet with the Honourable Minister Blackburn, Minister of State for Agriculture. Minister Blackburn is holding roundtable meetings with farmers, agriculture students and academics in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia as part of an ongoing commitment to get input directly from farmers when developing agricultural policies. APAS Vice-President Jeff Simpson has also been invited to the meeting, but he has indicated that his farm's harvest schedule will influence his attendance. 

November 16 - 20, 2009

Dry and sunny weather over the past several days has allowed Saskatchewan farmers to make significant progress toward completing harvest. Province-wide, 92 per cent of the harvest is complete, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's Weekly Crop Report. 

Monday morning started off with a number of calls to the office of the President from ranchers and farmers across the province regarding the need for outward inspection of grain shipments to negate trade sanctions and the continuing need for support for our struggling cattle industry. These are just two of the issues that APAS Board and staff continues to address along with our provincial, regional and national partners. 

In light of the ongoing issues facing our cattle sector, the APAS Livestock Committee will be meeting in Regina at 1 pm today. The agenda includes discussion and debate surrounding:

 

On Monday evening, all twelve of the APAS Directors will be participating in a Board of Directors Conference Call at 7:30 pm.

On Tuesday, District Four Directors Norm Hall and David Spencer submitted and distributed their latest Directors' Report. Read it HERE

And APAS Directors and Representatives from each district will be gathering in Saskatoon  during the latter part of this week for the Balancing the Bottom Line Conference. APAS will be taking advantage of a break in the conference agenda to host an Economic Trade and Strategic Growth Committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon at 1 pm.

REMINDER: The APAS 2009 Winter MidTerm Meeting is fast approaching. The meeting will take place on December 2-4 in Regina and the deadline for registration is November 25.

Be sure to complete the registration forms for elected delegates, spouses and guests as soon as possible and fax them to 306-789-7779.

For more MIDTERM MEETING details, click HERE

November 23-27, 2009

What a weekend! Overwhelming hometown support helped to ensure that the Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the Calgary Stampeders on Sunday afternoon to advance to the 2009 Grey Cup Championship. Mosaic Stadium was a sea of noisy green as over 30,000 of the province's loudest and proudest fans watched the Riders posted a 27-17 win over the visiting Stampeders. Go! Riders! Go!

Good harvesting weather throughout most of this November has allowed Saskatchewan farmers to harvest nearly all of the 2009 crop, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's weekly Crop Report.

This week, Regina will be buzzing with the excitement of Grey Cup Fever and the Western Canadian Agribition, which starts today at Evraz Place and runs through Saturday. Livestock producers from across the country and around the world will be in Regina for this world class event. 

On Monday evening, APAS President Greg Marshall and General Manager Nial Kuyek will be attending an APAS Information Meeting at Jedburgh in the RM of Garry.Ratepayers and RM Coucillors from neighboring RMs are also invited to attend in order to gain a broader understanding of the issues and initiatives that APAS is undertaking on behalf of Saskatchewan farm families.  

On Tuesday, the APAS Environmental and Food Safety Committee will be participating in a conference call in preparation for the 2009 Midterm Meeting. And on Wednesday, District Four Director David Spencer and GM Nial Kuyek have been invited to the RM of Star City to update the council on APAS activites.

At the same time, Greg Marshall and a group of experienced Directors will be particpating in a conference call to detail the December 2 Rep's Orientation Session that is being held as part of the Midterm Meeting.

On Thursday, the Grains and Oisleeds Committee will be meeting here at the APAS office to prepare their reports for the 2009 Midterm Meeting. And on Friday, the entire APAS team will be scrambling to finalize any last minute arrangements for the Winter Midterm Meeting being held next week in Regina. 

October 2009

Sept 28-Oct 2, 2009

This week, General Manager, Nial Kuyek is in the Maritime provinces to meet with the Provincial Coordinator for PEI's ALUS program.

Over all this week, the staff will be focusing their efforts on the implications and possible outcomes of CN's announcement to delay the closing of over two dozen producer car loading sites in Saskatchewan.

On Monday afternoon, President Greg Marshall will be  meeting with consultant Al Sholtz to review progress to date  on the Inter-generational Transfers research commissioned by APAS.

On Tuesday, Aj Thakker will be meeting with the Balancing the Bottom Line Conference committee in order to finalize the agenda and outline the publicity and communications campaign. 

On Wednesday, Greg and Doug both spent time concentrating on their farm businesses, while Aj spent the morning editing the fifth episode (Kevin Hursh's keynote address) of the 2008 EG&S Symposium at Smart Ideas Studios in Regina. 

October 5 - 10, 2009

Nial is back from his travels in PEI and Greg will be back shortly from his trip to Ottawa to meet with the Minister of State (Transport) regarding CN's continued plan to close a large number of producer-car sidings after the end of this year.

The first 5 episodes of the 2009 EG&S Symposium are now edited and  have been sent for final approval by the partners before being forwarded  to Access Channel 7 for broadcast across the province.

Aj is currently working on the second day's presentations and expects the entire series of 10 hour-long programs to be completed and available well before the end of the year.   

October 13 - 16, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. This week, in addition to eating leftover turkey, APAS staff and executive have a full week of meetings. On Tuesday, President Greg Marshall attended the RM Council of Mount Hope's monthly meeting to update the council on APAS activities. In addition, the Balancing the Bottom Line Conference Committee met at the APAS office to review planning activities to date.

On Wednesday, the APAS team will be attending a series of meetings throughout the day, including:

On Thursday, Aj Thakker traveled to Saskatoon to meet with the Saskatoon Farmers Market staff to discuss event details for the Balancing the Bottom Line Conference in November.

Friday, Greg, Nial and Doug attended the meeting of the Economic, Trade, and Strategic Growth Committee in Saskatoon. Key areas of discussion included APAS' Inter-generational and New Entrant research, Safety Net Programs, specifically AgriStability, and the myriad of issues related to railway transportation.  

October 19 - 23, 2009

This week, President Greg Marshall, along with other Canadian Farm Leaders, is attending the 34th North American and European Union Agricultural Conference  in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The meeting, which takes place every two years, brings together farm leaders and producers from the EU, United States, Mexico and Canada – in a forum to discuss key issues and challenges and share strategies and solutions to capture opportunities.

The Conference focused on several key agricultural issues, including:

In Greg's absence, Vice President Don Connick represented the APAS at the opening of the 3rd session of the 26th Saskatchewan Legislature on Wednesday afternoon. APAS was pleased by the promise of reduced surgical wait times in the province but was disappointed that the Throne Speech focused little attention on agriculture in Saskatchewan.

On Monday night, General Manager Nial Kuyek and District 2 Director Norm Nordgulen participated in a ratepayers' meeting in the RM of Wood River #74. Following a presentation by APAS, the RM ratepayers voted overwhelmingly to rejoin the Association.

Meanwhile, Policy Manager, Doug Faller spent the early part of this week investigating and analyzing the impacts of last Friday's announcement that the Ministry of Agriculture voluntarily reduced its' programs and services budget by over 20 million dollars as the Government of Saskatchewan deals with falling potash royalties.  Doug's other focus continues to be the numerous issues involved in railway transportation. 

Sonia Korpus and Aj Thakker will be busy most of this week finalizing details regarding next week's Prairie Farm Leaders Meeting, November's Balancing the Bottom Line Conference and December's midterm meeting.

Speaking of the Prairie Farm Leaders' Meeting, be sure to listen to CKRM 620AM's NewsLine at Noon with Jim Smalley on October 27 as Greg Marshall, Ian Wishart and Humphrey Bannack will be discussing issues that affect farmers in all three Prairie Provinces. All three Farm Leaders will also be available on Tuesday for additional media opportunities.

On Friday morning, , Greg, Nial and Doug participated in an informal conference call with members of other concerned groups regarding CN's proposed de-listing of producer car sidings.

October 26 - 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!! On Friday afternoon, Greg posted his impressions of the 34th North American European Union Agricultural Conference, which was held earlier this month in Ontario. You can read more HERE.

The three major farm organizations representing farmers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta emerged from a two-day forum on Tuesday with a renewed focus on the issues facing Prairie agriculture.

KAP President, Ian Wishart and WRAP President, Humphrey Bannack arrived in Regina on Monday morning for two days of meetings with APAS President, Greg Marshall. The presidents of the three major farm groups across the Prairies discussed and endeavored to reach consensus on important issues such as safety net programs, international trade and rail transportation.

The Prairie Farm Leaders were also the guests on a special edition of CKRM 620AM's NewsLine at Noon with Jim Smalley on Tuesday, October 27. Greg, Ian and Humphrey answered questions about the issues that affect farmers in all three Prairie Provinces and across Canada. Read more here.

In other news, the APAS BOD meeting originally scheduled for October 28 & 29 has been postponed in order for BOD members to complete as much of harvest as possible before it snows. In its' place, the BOD will be participating in an early morning conference call on October 29.

And District 4 Director David Spencer is in Ottawa part of this week attending the National Forum on Seed and visiting Sask MPs to discuss key issues affecting our farmers.

September 2009

Aug 31 - Sept 4, 2009

APAS staff and executive are in the office this week, focusing on a number of upcoming events.

On Monday, GM Nial Kuyek met with the other members of the Balancing the Bottom Line Conference Planning Committee.

On Tuesday, District 6 Director Jeff Simpson had an opportunity to stop farming for a very brief moment to submit a short report for the rest of the province regarding conditions in the Northwest. Jeff indicated that swathing is finally underway and  his own fields are just about dry enough to start swathing. Click here to read more. 

If you're in Regina on Wednesday, APAS will be at the Regina Farmers Market from 9 am to 1 pm. President Greg Marshall will be hosting a special media scrum at 10 am to release key details of the joint KAP/APAS/WRAP research into the cost of food and the farmers' share.

If you can't be at the Market on Wednesday, tune in to CKRM-620AM at lunch time as Greg will be the special guest on the NewsLine at Noon with Jim Smalley.

For a quick look at some of the extensive media coverage the Farmers' Share events generated across Western Canada, visit our New in News page  

September 8 - 11, 2009

Go Riders Go!! Labour Day weekend saw the Riders win the first of their back-to-back games with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Let's wish them the same sort of luck next week in the Banjo Bowl!

Saskatchewan farmers were forced to exercise some patience this weekend - some even watched the game guilt-free while waiting for their crops to ripen just a little bit more before the cooler weather arrives.

President Greg Marshall is still receiving numerous requests from media in response to the joint APAS/KAP/WRAP Farmers Share events held last week. Watch CTV next weekend for Greg's interview with FarmGate's Bob Simpson and check your local Access 7 program guide for a special television broadcast of the September 2 CKRM 620AM NewsLine at Noon call-in program with host Jim Smalley and our own Greg Marshall and Ken Rosaasen.

On Wednesday, GM Nial Kuyek will continue his work with the other members of the Balancing the Bottom Line Conference Planning Committee.

(Aj was away from September 14-18, so no weekly website updates are available for that week.) 

September 21 - 25, 2009

Nial Kuyek left early Wednesday morning for the CFA Managers Meeting in PEI. Nial will also be meeting with the ALUS program coordinator in PEI early next week in order to increase APAS knowledge and expertise regarding successful EG&S programs.

APAS staff met together a number of times this week in order to coordinate a number of ongoing initiatives and to ensure that staff have sufficient information and resources to properly manage the APAS office while the General Manager is away next week. 

August 2009

August 3-7, 2009

Monday was a recognized holiday in most provinces; and like many other organizations across Canada, our offices were closed as APAS Executive and staff enjoyed the one of the last long weekends of the summer.

Sonia , Nial and Aj are all back from holidays, Doug Faller is now officially onboard as Policy Manager and everyone is back from the CFA Semi Annual Meeting, which took place past week in BC.

AgriDigest Online did a wonderful story on July 27 about our recent Midterm Meeting in Saskatoon. Click HERE to read the text and HERE to view the photos. 

Tuesday, APAS GM Nial Kuyek and President Greg Marshall spent the morning welcoming and briefing new APAS staff member, Doug Faller, to provincial agricultural politics and his role as Policy Manager. Doug will be spending this week getting settled and attending key meetings with Nial and Greg. In the weeks to come, Doug will also be meeting with his counterparts in the provincial Ministry and other provincial agricultural organizations.

Tuesday afternoon, APAS Executive and GM, Nial Kuyek met with the SARM Executive and Executive Director to discuss if the two organizations can better work together to provide a united voice for Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers. APAS Executive appreciated the opportunity to discuss issues of mutual concern and to better understand SARM's goal and objectives. APAS looks forward to continued dialogue with SARM staff and executive whenever the opportunity presents itself. 

Given that our livestock industry continues to face significant problems and members in many farm organizations are demanding and expecting further action from all levels of government to protect the future of the industry, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan is hosting a meeting of key livestock organizations representing affected Saskatchewan producers on Thursday afternoon.  The meeting will have two primary objectives:

  1. To have each organization provide their perspectives on the current problems and opportunities of our provincial livestock industry
  2. To determine if there is interest in ongoing communications and potential collaboration and to develop a framework for further dialogue.

August 10 - 14, 2009

APAS executive and staff began the week with a quick debrief of last week's events - most importantly, the Saskatchewan Livestock sector meeting which took place on Thursday afternoon.

Given that our livestock industry continues to face significant problems and members in many farm organizations are demanding and expecting further action from all levels of government to protect the future of the industry, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan hosted a meeting of interested rural and livestock organizations representing affected Saskatchewan producers last Thursday afternoon.  The meeting had two primary objectives:

  1. To have each organization provide their perspectives on the current problems and opportunities of our provincial livestock industry
  2. To determine if there is interest in ongoing communications and potential collaboration and to develop a framework for further dialogue.

APAS executive appreciated the attendance, engagement and openness of representatives from the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association (SSGA) , Saskatchewan Bison Association (SBA), Saskatchewan Pork Council (SaskPork), Saskatchewan Association of Rural  Municipalities (SARM) , National Farmers Union (NFU) and the Dairy Farmers of Saskatchewan (DFS).

The meeting was an honest and respectful dialogue about current and future issues facing the industry and our members; and it created a far deeper understanding of each group's specific issues and positions on a host of common concerns. 

APAS looks forward to additional opportunities to meet with and learn from these groups in order to better understand them and work in partnership in advocacy on behalf of Saskatchewan agriculture.  

August 17 - 21, 2009

Rain fell and fell ...and fell this weekend on many parts of the province. While appreciated, we need the sun and warm weather now to end the summer and lead us into fall.

Conference calls, committee meetings and ongoing dialogue with a variety of agricultural groups will fill the schedules of APAS staff and executive most of this week. Stay tuned to this page over the days to come for more details!

August 24 - 29, 2009

This week APAS BOD are busy on their farms and APAS staff are all working on specific projects and upcoming events. The balance of this week will be spent preparing for next Wednesday's media announcement regarding the joint APAS/KAP/WRAP "Farmer's Share" research report. APAS will be at the Regina Farmers Market, Wednesday, September 2 at 10 am to release the reports findings. And be sure to listen to Jim Smalley's News Line at Noon program on 620 CKRM for a lively panel debate on the cost of food and the farmers share later that same day.   

July 2009

June 29 - July 3, 2009

With a Stat holiday smack dab in the middle of the week, APAS staff and Executive spent Monday and Tuesday cleaning up from the midterm meeting and catching up on other office administration. We hope everyone had a good Canada Day. Kids are now all out of school, so please exercise just a little more caution as you head out each morning. 

We have been a little lax in updating the site, so expect a number of updates this week and next to catch us up.  APAS' new Policy Manager, Doug Faller, will be joining us at the beginning of August. Doug will take over responsibility for the New in News, Policy Committee and Research portions of the site - so you can expect numerous changes and revisions starting in August. And our new portal software and front page design is continuing to evolve and will be launched soon. 

July staffing schedule

Sonia Korpus will be on vacation from July 3-10. Nial Kuyek will be on vacation from July 6-14. Aj will be out of the office attending meeting or editing the EGS Symposium programs between July 6 and July 17 and will therefore be out of the office. Aj will be available by cell if required.

Aj Thakker will also be on vacation from July 20-24. Please contact Nial or Sonia for urgent matters.

Nial, Aj, Greg and a number of BOD members will be attending the CFA AGM  from July 27-30. The APAS office will only be open from 1-4:30 pm each day of that week. 

July 6 -10, 2009

Sonia went west (she's visiting some of her family on the West Coast) and Nial went south (he's in Las Vegas for a week of R&R), so Greg and Aj are the only ones around the APAS office this week.

Greg Marshall will be flying out of Regina on Tuesday night to attend the Federal/Provincial Agricultural Ministers' Roundtable at Niagara-on-the-Lake on July 8 & 9. Minister Bjornerud confirmed at our recent midterm meeting that the ongoing livestock crisis will be on the agenda so we look forward to Minister Ritz and the AAFC offering real solutions to help producers through the deepening crisis. To see Greg's report from Niagara on The Lake  - click here

On Wednesday, Board Members Norm Nordgulen and Don Connick will be visiting a number of RMs to update councils about APAS activities and priorities. In addition, this week, APAS will be sending an invitation to all Saskatchewan livestock groups to invite them to a special meeting on August 6 in Regina.

Given that our livestock industry continues to face significant problems and members in all of our organizations are demanding and expecting further action, the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan is offering to host a meeting of key affected Saskatchewan organizations representing livestock producers.  The meeting will have two primary objectives:

  1. To have each organization provide their perspectives on the current problems and opportunities of our provincial livestock industry
  2. To determine if there is interest in ongoing communications and potential collaboration and to develop a framework for further dialogue.

And on a final note, Aj will be at Smart Ideas Studios the balance of this week, editing the EGS Symposium program for Access 7.  For urgent requests, you can reach him by cell at 531-7955 or email ajthakker@accesscomm.ca 

July 13 - 17, 2009

Well, it was cool and wet to start the week when APAS' President Greg Marshall returned from the Federal/Provincial Ag Ministers Roundtable. The big news out of Niagara on the Lake was Minsiter Ritz' 11th hour announcement of $20 million dollars to track livestock from grocery stores around the world back to the Canadian farms where they were raised.

Like other groups across the country, APAS applauds the Ministry's objectives but reminds the Minister that we have more pressing concerns in the sector that are far more immediate. And we concur with Minister Bjornerud's comments that any traceability program should be driven by producers, recognized farm groups and industry stakeholders and not imposed on the sector by Ottawa. 

GM Nial Kuyek was on holidays until Wednesday; though Sonia is back in the office this week. Greg attended the Chicken Farmers of Canada meeting on Monday evening; followed by a meeting with the RM Council for Perdue on Tuesday morning. On Thursday, Greg traveled to Saskatoon for a CWB meeting while Aj and Sonia were preparing the June/July edition of the APAS newsletter for publication.  

On Friday, APAS staff/executive finalized preparations and registrations for the July CFA midterm in Kelowna, July 27-30.  

July 20 -24, 2009

The BOD will be meeting this Tuesday in Regina. Stay tuned to this page for more details. We will be updating the President's Message & GM's Report pages immediately following the BOD meeting.  The balance of the week will be spent preparing for the Prairie Farm Leaders and CFA meetings in Kelowna.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) will hold its 2009 Semi Annual Meeting on July 29-30 in Kelowna, British Columbia. The theme of this year's meeting is "Restoring Profitability to the Farm Gate."

The Semi-Annual meeting is a chance for farm leaders from across Canada, both CFA members and non-members, along with industry leaders from across the country, to discuss issues and challenges, propose workable solutions, and build new partnerships that will strengthen the agriculture industry as a whole.

 This year's meeting includes several highlights:

  • A presentation on One Earth Farms by Larry Ruud. Operated in the Canadian Prairie Provinces on land leased at from First Nations Reserves, One Earth Farms will be a large corporate farm that will include cattle ranching and grain and oilseed cultivation.
  • Newly elected Steve Thomson, Minister of Agriculture for British Columbia
  • Updates on Canadian Agriculture: 
    -British Columbia Issues by Garnet Etsell, BC Chair, CFA 2nd Vice-President
    -Northern Agriculture update by Rick Tone, Executive Director, Yukon Agricultural Association
    -Crisis facing the Canadian Pork Sector by Jurgen Preugschas, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council
  • Agri-Innovation Discussion and Presentation by Clair Gartley, Director General, Innovations Directorate, Research Branch, AAFC
  • Panel on Climate Change featuring:
    -Dale Enerson, Director, Carbon Credit Program, NFU
    -Dean Stinson O'Gorman, Manager, Canada's Offset System for Greenhouse - Gases,  Environment Canada
    -Karen Haugen-Kozyra, Climate Change Central
    -Emily MacNair, Climate Action Initiative Coordinator, BC Agriculture and Food
  • Competitive pricing and mergers, featuring:
    -Morgan Currie, Competition Bureau
    -Roger Larson, Canadian Fertilizer Institute
  • Federal Role in Rural Sustainability featuring Mayor Basil Stewart, President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

NOTE: Please visit CFA's website to download the latest agenda.  

 

Founded in 1935 to provide Canada's farmers with a single voice in Ottawa, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture is the country's largest farmers' organization. Its members include provincial general farm organizations, national and inter-provincial commodity organizations, and cooperatives from every province. Through its members, CFA represents over 200,000 Canadian farmers and farm families.

July 27-August 1, 2009

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) met in July in Kelowna, BC for its 2009 Semi Annual Meeting. The meeting brought together farm leaders from across Canada, representing all commodities and regions, to discuss issues and challenges, propose workable solutions, and build new partnerships that will strengthen the agriculture industry as a whole. The theme of this year's meeting was “Restoring Profitability to the Farm Gate.”

Read More...

June 22 - 26, 2009

The APAS midterm was on Wednesday and Thursday. The rest of the week is a blur....

WOW. What a week. An amazing two-day conference in beautiful downtown Saskatoon capped by a stunning evening at the Saskatoon Farmers Market. Debbie, Bill and all the market vendors were incredible. Photos and video will be available soon - and watch Acccess Channel 7 in the Yorkton area for full coverage.

It is clear that Minister Bjornerud heard our concerns regarding the continuing livestock crisis as illustrated by this recent story.  

APAS staff were back in the office on Friday, unpacking and cleaning up from the midterm meeting. Photos and reports from the midterm meeting will be posted next week. For all APAS reps - be sure to fax and/or mail in any receipts and expense claims as soon as possible. For those that were unable to attend due to spraying, we will be putting your rep package in the mail on Monday.

Thanks to everyone that made our midterm meeting such a resounding success!

Did you know that farmers' markets in Canada generate over $3,000,000,000 (that's three billion dollars!) in economic activity each year? This is just one of the findings from a new national study - and a number that every agricultural policy maker should know.

For a full copy of the study, visit Farmers' Market Canada's website.  

June 15 - 19, 2009

WCFPS is this week and APAS Directors, staff and BOD will be attending a variety of functions throughout the week. 

On Monday, Greg Marshall and Nial Kuyek met with Brian Gilbertson, Director of Government and Stakeholder Affairs with Agrium. APAS staff continued to work on Midterm registration and coordination.

On Tuesday morning, the APAS Economic, Trade and Strategic Growth Committee will be meeting at the APAS office at 10:30 am. APAS Reps have recently received an invitation from Rob O'Connor to attend a special VIP Preview Day for the Western Canadian Farm Progress Show during the afternoon of June 16, 2009. As well on Tuesday, Aj will be attending the RM of Cana's RM Council meeting to present up-to-date information about APAS activities.

On Wednesday, Nial and Greg will be attending the CGC Information Breakfast and then spending the morning at the Farm Progress Show. In the evening, the APAS Finance Committee will be participating in a conference call at 8 pm.

On Thursday, Nial and Greg Marshall will attend the Canadian Wheat Board Breakfast Meeting while APAS Directors Norm Hall and Garth Burns will attend the CGC Information Breakfast. Following a full day at the WCFPS, President Marshall will attend the Bank of Canada Reception and Dinner.  

Friday will see Director David Spencer and Shawn Borgeois attend the CGC Information breakfast. The two will also join President Greg Marshall and Aj Thakker at the Outstanding Young Farmers luncheon at noon while General Manager, Nial Kuyek will participate at the Agricultural Council of Saskatchewan's annual general meeting and luncheon.  

And on top of all that, we will be printing and assembling the midterm meeting registration kits whenever time allows. See you all in Saskatoon on the 24th!

 

 

June 8 - 12, 2009

The cool wet weather continued through the weekend and into this week - but the good news is that Saskatchewan farmers have planted a full 100% of the 2009 crop. The moisture is here and now we need lots of sunshine.

Monday afternoon. President Greg Marshall delivered a Talk Mail Voice message to reps. Click [HERE] to read the text version.

On Tuesday, President Greg Marshall met with the Council for the RM of Baildon, while GM Nial Kuyek and staff person Aj Thakker were in Saskatoon for the final planning meetings with the Radisson Hotel Saskatoon and Saskatoon Farmers' Market for the June midterm.

APAS is pleased to announce that refreshments at the Farm Gate to Dinner Plate event will be provided by local success story, Paddock Wood Brewing Company - winner of the GOLD Medal at the Calgary Beer Fest for Best Canadian lager out of a field of 35 breweries!

For the wine lovers attending, we have two excellent wines from the Okanagan, courtesy of Kalala Organic Estate Winery. Kalala's philosophy is to let the terroir and varietal characteristics to be fully expressed by adhering to minimal handling and gentle processing from growing to harvesting and to final vinification. Combining that with organic practices, their wines are truly a unique experience.

The balance of the week will be spent in the office finalizing details for the midterm and taking catre of other administrative duties.

On another note, the  2009 Spring issue of Field Notes, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council’s (CAHRC) quarterly newsletter, is now available. In this issue the focus is on what CAHRC is doing to deliver on its mandate to improve access to training and skills development programs in agriculture. Learn about a new Web site linking Canadians to learning opportunities in agriculture, view a new video highlighting the link between education and industry, and more. The newsletter also has a brand new, streamlined look. See for yourself by clicking here.

Full URL: http://www.cahrc-ccrha.ca/fn_ca/sp09/en/chair.html

Printer friendly version: http://www.cahrc-ccrha.ca/fn_ca/sp09/fr/print.html

June 1 - 5, 2009

Registration forms for APAS Reps for the 2009 Midterm meeting are due this week and guest registrations are due on June 15. If you haven't already done so, be sure to book your hotel room before the end of the week or the rate will be going up! 

This week, President Greg Marshall is busy working at the farm and praying for warmer weather, while in Regina on Monday afternoon, General Manager Nial Kuyek and Aj Thakker met with Brenda Patton of AAFC.

APAS staff members were busy the rest of the week finalizing many of the details surrounding the Midterm meeting agenda and social event.

Delegates, MPs, MLAs and confirmed speakers received event details last week. Additional invitations will be going out this Thursday and Friday to all other invited guests. For the full agenda, convention registration and hotel reservation forms and a list of participating Farmers Market vendors, click here.  

May 25 - 29, 2009

As the final week of May begins, Saskatchewan farmers have seeded almost half of the 2009 crop, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture's Crop Report. If the warmer weather continues as predicted, most producers should have their seed in the ground by the end of the month.

Last week started relatively slower in the APAS office as we recover from the recent office painting and other leasehold improvements - but it definitely ended on a number of high notes - with the Premier's Dinner on Thursday evening and Friday's meeting with the Saskatoon Farmers Market.

This week - on Monday, Greg Marshall spent the better part of this morning fielding media calls regarding the latest farm receipts numbers. On Tuesday Greg will be participating in a conference call with the Governance Committee to finalize the wording on a number of by-law changes to be voted on at the midterm meeting and on Thursday, the President will participate in the CFA BOD conference call with discussions centering on the upcoming Federal/Provincial Agricultural Ministers roundtable.

APAS staff will be busy throughout the week preparing and distributing formal invitations and documentation for the June midterm.    

May 19 - 22, 2009

The May long weekend brought clouds and cold weather across much of Saskatchewan, with snow touching down in many parts of the province. According to the latest Sask Ag Crop Reports, our province's farmers have seeded 23 per cent of the 2009 crop, which is on par with the five year average (2004-2008). Last week, seeding progress was reported as four per cent complete.

This week, Aj and Nial will be busy negotiating the final details surrounding the midterm meeting agenda, while Sonia is continuing to distribute the April/May newsletter and straightening up the offices following the renovations.

On Thursday May 21, District Three Rep Dorothy Weetman and her husband Richard, District Two Rep Lawrence Johnstone and his wife Faye, District Four Director David Spencer; President Greg Marshall, General Manager Nial Kuyek and your writer had the pleasure of joining a record-setting crowd of over twenty-two hundred guests at the Premiere's Dinner in Regina. Together they enthusiastically welcomed back home-town hero Jason Clermont, who acted as MC for the evening. Retired Saskatchewan Roughrider, Gene Makowsky introduced the young Premier, likening his role and impact to that of former Riders coach, Kent Austin.

Premier Wall was gracious, humorous and humble during his keynote address - paying tribute to his family, caucus and staff, the Sask Party faithful and the people of the Province of Saskatchewan. He even paused a moment to specifically recognize the important role that farmers and ranchers play in the province. Premier Wall took the opportunity to outline his vision of the province as a centre for sustainable energy production and a place that offers eternal hope, strategic economic development and unlimited opportunity. He finished his rousing remarks by reminding the assembly that Saskatchewan's best days are still ahead of us.

APAS attendees did remain after the dinner to mix and mingle with Provincial MLAs and other guests. Thank you to Dorothy, Richard, Lawrence, Faye and David for taking valuable time away from seeding to attend the dinner on APAS behalf.            

Earlier this month, Communications Consultant, Aj Thakker, met with the Saskatoon Farmers Market to coordinate the midterm meeting social event for Wednesday, June 24. APAS looks forward to working with the General Manager Debbie Claude to promote Saskatchewan producers and products to the midterm meeting attendees.   

Did you know that farmers markets in Canada generate over $3,000,000,000 (that's three billion dollars!) in economic activity each year? This is just one of the findings from a new national study - and a number that every agricultural policy maker should know. For a full copy of the study, visit Farmers' Market Canada's website.  

And before that....

Previous to May 15

May 11-14

Aj Thakker is away this week, but the rest of us are still working!  Nial Kuyek and Greg Marshall were at the RMAA (Rural Municipal Administrators Association) annual convention in Saskatoon this week. Nial and Greg would like to thank the organizing committee for an excellent afternoon of golf and networking on Monday afternoon.

We continue to work on the mid-term meeting arrangements and agenda.  Next week, you can expect some updates from CFA meetings with Minister Ritz and discussions with Minister Bjornerud's office.

May 4-8

Hurray Hurray for the first of May! Hopefully spring seeding will soon be well underway!

Agricultural groups across Canada continue to monitor emerging reports on the devastating effects of H1N1 on our country's hog producers as news broke this weekend that more than 200 pigs on a central Alberta hog farm were found to be infected with the virus. Meanwhile, sixteen new cases of Canadian's infected with the flu were reported on Sunday. By Monday night, the total had risen to 140 confirmed cases in the country and the number continues to rise. 

Hog prices tumbled as more than ten countries immediately banned Canadian pork products in response - despite calls from industry and health officials that the meat is safe. The World Heath Organization (WHO) agreed that consumption of properly handled pork is completely safe and that there are no plans to put down the infected animals. Canadian health officials continue to remind consumers that there should be no concern of the virus entering the food chain. 

In the APAS office this week,

On Friday, the Steering Committee investigating options for Producer Payment Security Mechanisms released the final report by Scott Wolfe Management. The objective of the project was to examine payment security options as a result of the proposed changes to the Canada Grain Act affecting the payment security program under the Canadian Grain Commission. Four options, including the current system, were studied by Scott Wolfe Management, the consulting firm hired to conduct the research. The options included the following models: security-based, insurance-based, fund-based, and clearinghouse models.

Nial Kuyek was at lunch on Monday with representatives from WCFLC. Discussions included potential collaboration on upcoming events. On Tuesday, the staff was busy in the office cleaning up administrative tasks and replacing furniture after the recent renovations. On Wednesday, APAS staff participated in a conference call to discuss Bill C-13 and the Producer Payment Security Report commissioned by a number of farm groups.

On Thursday, APAS GM Nial Kuyek participated in the Provincial Environment Ministry's Regulatory Policy Review Consultation, with the APAS Environment Committee holding a conference call on Wednesday to review the proposed changes and the potential effects on agricultural producers. The Environment Committee identified several areas that needed clarification in terms of the impact on agriculture. Thursday's consultation clarified many of these issues and provided APAS and other agricultural participants with better understanding of the process overall and the manner in which agriculture will be impacted.   

In addition, Nial and Greg continued to contact and confirm guest speakers this week for the midterm meeting in June, while staff were busy finalizing the other event details and preparing the April/May newsletter for printing and distribution early next week. Aj is currently working in partnership with the Saskatoon Farmers Market on a very special hospitality event for the Wednesday evening.

April 27-May 1

With spring seeding backed up by a week or more due to the cold wet weather, the APAS Directors took their places around the board table last Thursday and Friday for their last face-to-face meeting before the June mid-term. In addition to regular Board business, Directors discussed and debated the agenda for the midterm meeting, reviewed key details of Director Shawn Borgeois presentation on APAS' proposed scholarship program and agreed to a strategy to further the 'inter-generational transfer' and 'safety net' resolutions from the 2008 AGM. 

On Monday evening, President Greg Marshall, GM Nial Kuyek and District One Director Ernie Briggs attended a ratepayers meeting in the RM of Rocanville. A resolution was overwhelmingly passed at the meeting to renew the RM's membership in APAS through 2009.  

On Tuesday, members of the APAS Livestock Committee were to meet at the APAS office in the morning and attend a Saskatchewan Livestock Sector Roundtable meeting in the afternoon with representatives from a number of the province's livestock groups. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts, this meeting has been temporarily postponed, however APAS executive are currently awaiting confirmation of alternative dates and times from the invited groups in order to coordinate a similar meeting prior to the June midterm. The objective of the meeting, which is being organized and hosted by APAS, is to enhance cooperation and communications between the various organizations and to provide a forum for dialogue and partnership on common issues.

On Wednesday, the President and staff will be discussing and confirming a number of the key details for the June midterm - recently confirmed for June 24 and 25 in Saskatoon - including the exact location and a tentative agenda. Member Reps and all guests can expect to receive a formal meeting notification by email or fax next week.   

As the week ended, APAS Executive and staff were in the office making final arrangements for the mid term meeting in June. President Greg Marshall participated in a number of media interview covering topics ranging from migrant farm workers to livestock support programs. The week ended with the Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Ritz announcing changes to the Farm Improvement and Marketing Cooperatives Loan Program (FIMCLA). The PM and Minister Ritz made the announcement in Edgeley, Saskatchewan earlier today that new legislation will guarantee an estimated $1 billion in loans over the next five years most of which will go to farmers and co-operatives that were previously ineligible. 

APAS President, Greg Marshall will be available at the APAS office for media calls throughout Friday afternoon to respond to today's announcement. 

April 20-24

A special thank you to the RM of Grass Lake for hosting a delicious supper on Monday evening as APAS staff provided an update on recent activities. This week, APAS Directors and staff also attended ratepayer meetings in the RMs of Preeceville, Fertile Belt and Clayton.

On Tuesday afternoon, elected Reps from District Six gatherer in Reward, SK for the Spring District meeting. APAS’ Vice-President Jeff Simpson and District Six Director Charles Boser along with Communications Consultant, Aj Thakker reviewed APAS accomplishments and recent activities and elected members provided feedback and direction on key policy initiatives. RM Reps also discussed and debated a number of key motions that are to be forwarded to the Resolutions Committee for the midterm meeting in June. The District Six APAS reps and staff would like to extend a very special thank you to Mrs. Boser, who graciously provided a wonderful home cooked meal for lunch.

President Greg Marshall participated in the CFA BOD meeting in Ottawa on Tuesday and Wednesday while Vice President Don Connick met with Heather Smith, the new Director General of Policy, Planning and Integration Directorate  for Agriculture and AgriFood Canada on Wednesday afternoon. APAS appreciated the opportunity to meet with the newly appointed Director General and to discuss issues of mutual interest and concern. Thank you to Dean Vey, Regional Director, Market & Industry Services Branch (Saskatchewan), Debra Boyd-Chisholm, Senior Analyst, Intergovernmental Affairs, Strategic Policy Branch, and Brenda Patton, Senior Marketing & Trade Officer, Market & Industry Services (Saskatchewan) for their participation in the meeting as well. APAS looks forward to continuing the dialogue and will be forwarding an invitation to Ms Smith and the AAFC staff in Saskatchewan to join us in Saskatoon in June for the 2009 midterm meeting.  

The BOD will wrap up the week with a Directors' meeting in Regina on Thursday evening and all day Friday.

(Note - APAS' offices will be closed Friday for leasehold improvements - or painting to be more exact)

April 13-17

A relatively warm and pleasant Easter weekend turned to rain and then snow in some parts of the province this week and on Thursday, District 4 Director David Spencer and staff member Aj Thakker were welcomed by the RM Council of Barrier Valley as they presented an update on APAS activities. The RM may also be sending an observer to the mid-term meeting in June as they consider membership.  On Wednesday, APAS sent invitations to a number of provincial livestock producer groups in order to initiate dialogue aimed to enhance relationships and communications between the various organizations. On Tuesday, District Five Director Garth Burns, APAS President Greg Marshall and Communications Consultant, Aj Thakker attended the District Five Spring Meeting at the Diner in Manitou Beach. APAS Directors and staff attended meetings with the RMs of Mountain View, Garry and Barrier Valley and Greg Marshall and Nial Kuyek will end the week at the Western Farm Leaders meeting in Winnipeg.   

Earlier in the month, the CFA Grains and Oilseeds Committee held a conference call on the issue of Bill C-13. APAS President Greg Marshall chaired the meeting, which focused on:

...and April began with the Provincial Ministry of Agriculture announcing that we are Going Forward with Growing Forward in Saskatchewan.

                                                    Sask Ministry of Ag release

                                                     Growing Forward Website

In late March...

APAS President Greg Marshall met with Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture Bob Bjornerud to discuss issues of mutual interest.

The organizing committee of the Saskatchewan's Natural Capital: Exploring Ecological Goods and Services (EG&S) Symposium would like to thank the excellent speakers and enthusiastic attendees and guests at the EG&S Symposium held last week at the West Harvest Inn in Regina. The Symposium presentations will be aired on the Access 7 cable television network and selected clips will be available on the Symposium website for download later this spring. Please visit the EG&S website for presentations, speaker bios, and additional details.

As well in March, 

Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer handed down Saskatchewan's provincial budget at approximately 2:15 p.m. local time, Wednesday, March 18, 2009. APAS President Greg Marshall attended the budget speech and responded to the budget announcements on behalf of the province's agricultural producers.

...and...

We've launched a new radio campaign on CJGX104, CK750 AM ,CK620, the Rawlco NewsTalk network in PA, North Battleford, Regina and Saskatoon and Golden West Stations in the southern part of the province. The campaign aims to remind listeners of the importance of a united voice in Regina and Ottawa for our province's agricultural producers.

Listen to both of the promotional spots currently running.

You can call all you want - 30 seconds

If a farmer...- 30 seconds

and... 

APAS President Greg Marshall was the guest on CKRM's Newsline at Noon program with Jim Smalley on Monday, March 2. Greg and Jim discussed pressing issues in Saskatchewan agriculture and took calls from listeners.

Click here to download and/or listen to an MP3 file of the complete interview

Click here to stream the interview in your current browser