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Government Ignores Concerns with Variety Registration Change and Plows Ahead Anyway

(JULY 9, 2009) The federal government has changed the variety registration system regulations in spite of widespread opposition and concerns. The variety registration system is a system where new plant varieties are independently tested and judged on their performance and merit by recommending committees before they can be grown as commercial crops in Canada.

The variety registration system was created to protect farmers and Canadians from plant varieties that are harmful or misrepresented.

Union Farmer Quarterly: Spring 2009

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The federal budget released by the Harper Government fails to address the deepening financial crisis facing Canada’s family farmers, says Stewart Wells, President of the National Farmers Union (NFU).

In the budget, the Harper Government promised $50 million over the next three years to expand slaughterhouse capacity. However, there is no provision to ensure these funds do not simply end up in the pockets of Cargill, Tyson and XL, the big three packing companies which together control over 80% of Canada’s beef processing facilities.

Alberta Government Must Let Farmers Decide Direction of CWB

January 12, 2009 - The Alberta Government must respect the wishes of farmers and stop spending taxpayers’ money on a campaign to dismantle the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB), says Doug Scott, a Board member of the National Farmers Union (NFU).

Union Farmer Newsletters 2008

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Union Farmer Quarterly: Winter 2008-09

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Seeds of Change - Farmers, Biotechnology, and the New Face of Agriculture

Seeds of Change: Farmers, Biotechnology, and the New Face of Agriculture

This documentary film is a seventy-minute documentary film made by University of Manitoba (U of M) professor Stéphane McLachlan, U of M PhD student Ian Mauro, and independent videographer Jim Sanders, is a balanced yet hard-hitting exposé of the controversy surrounding genetically modified crops and how they have changed the face of agriculture in western Canada.

Organic Farming: a pioneer's perspective

Elmer Laird (1924 - 2010), a founding member of the National Farmers Union, was inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2008. He established the first certified organic research farm in Canada, and wrote about organic food production for over twenty years. The Saskatchewan Organic Directorate (SOD) has compiled Elmer's writings, and the document is now posted on the SOD website.

Union Farmer Newsletters 2007

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Rising Dollar, Rising Interest Rates, Falling Farmers

June 21, 20/07
Two pieces of economic news this past week bode poorly for farmers, and both of them relate to factors far beyond their control. One is the continuing rise of the Canadian dollar against its American counterpart. The dollar neared 92 cents American, a level not seen since 1977. Many analysts are saying the loonie could reach par with the American dollar before the end of 2007. The second piece of news concerned Canada's inflation rate. The so-called core inflation rate hit 2.5% in April, furthering speculation that the Bank of Canada will raise interest rates.
Both situations have severe repercussions down on the farm. Grain on international markets is mainly priced in American dollars. Thus each increase in the value of the Canadian dollar effectively lowers the value of Canadian grain on export markets. Should the Canadian dollar reach par with the U.S.