Western farm leaders meet

Farm leaders from the four western provinces met last week to discuss issues facing western Canadian farmers

Farm leaders from the four western provinces met last week to discuss issues facing western Canadian farmers, according to a press statement by Alberta Federation of Agriculture.

Lynn Jacobson of the Alberta Federation of Agriculture, Doug Chorney of Keystone Agricultural Producers (Manitoba), Norm Hall of the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan, and Rhonda Driediger of the British Columbia Agriculture Council met in Abbotsford to explore mutual concerns and opportunities for greater collaboration.

The group confirmed that on the Prairies and in northern BC, poor rail service is hindering getting this year’s bumper crop to market.

Chorney will be taking the message that rail service needs to be drastically improved for agricultural commodity shippers to the federal Crop Logistics Working Group, of which he is a member.

“This is unacceptable,” Chorney said. “Farmers have been asking for better rail service basically since farming began on the Prairies, and now this situation underlines the fact that nothing has really changed.”

The leaders also discussed the challenges of engaging with farmers across their provinces as government resources decline, as well as the need to harmonize regulations with the US to ensure that Western Canadian farmers have the same competitive advantages as their southern colleagues.