DELEAU, MANITOBA – On December 18th, National Farmers Union (NFU)-Manitoba (Region 5) leadership met with the provincial Agriculture Minister Ron Kostyshyn, and Environment and Climate Change Minister Tracy Schmidt.
The Manitoba delegation discussed key ag-related issues at the Manitoba Legislature. These included: provincial ag services, climate change policies, stable funding for NFU-Manitoba, ag crown lands, new farmer access, local food processing, and right-to-repair legislation.
Reflecting on the meeting, Matthew Wiens, NFU Director noted, “We’re encouraged by the work the new government has started in regards to changing the Ag Crowns Lands leasing system to better serve farmers. Keeping lease prices stable for the time being is just a start, and the Ag Minister has showcased this issue is a priority. We made clear that we are supportive of an improved point system while suggesting to let current and past lease holders decide through a vote.”
“We’ve brought forward the case for a proper choice of voice model through stable funding that includes the NFU in Manitoba through a democratic version of the Agricultural Producers’ Organization Funding Act.” says Coordinator Ian Robson. “The bias of having only one general organization being able to collect membership fees through the act in a way that doesn’t actually reflect all types of farms has created a deeply inequitable situation,” says member Wayne James. “We’ve made our points clear, the NFU in Manitoba is a viable and accountable farm voice in our province and it is time for the government to act just as they have in Ontario, PEI and New Brunswick.”
Delegation members Kate Storey and Paul Gregory made a significant case for improving the capacity and capabilities in Manitoba Agriculture. “The need for public agronomists working with farmers to showcase on-farm climate change resiliency is great” says Kate. “We brought up the concept of a CFRA (Canadian Farm Resiliency Agency) as a way to better share resources across all levels of government and research work. It’s clear that both ministers recognized that efforts need to be done to bring the newest findings on climate change mitigation and adaptation to the homestead. We look forward to working closely with all levels of government to make hands-on initiatives a reality.”
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For more information
Ian Robson, NFU-Manitoba Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org (431) 541-2439
Matthew Wiens, NFU-Manitoba Director email@example.com (204) 268-9627