Meetings & Pancakes in our Queen City

From June 14 - 17, SaskCanola's Board Chairman, Terry Youzwa was in Regina to participate in a number of meetings and events. Read Terry's blog below to learn of the outcomes from his week in the Queen City.

The week began with a bit of spraying and it was a good thing my son was home to help out as it was a very busy time.

On Tuesday, June 14, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture staff met with provincial farm organizations to confer what had and hadn't been working with Growing Forward 2. The feedback that was given will provide input for the next ag policy framework. We discussed a number of important issues, including:

  • how AgriStability hasn't been working, so the question becomes whether it will be fixed or dropped;
  • how Crop Insurance needs to be more individually responsive (an Olympic 5 or simple 7 year average would help significantly);
  • and how investments in AgriScience, research, and innovation, help to not only increase yield but reduce production risk.

On Wednesday morning, our excellent, passionate staff held their quarterly meeting with the Canola Council agronomists that work in Saskatchewan. These meetings foster partnership and collaboration on better serving Saskatchewan farmers. They brainstorm solutions for "issues of the season" in ag, initiate and plan events/projects, and talk all things canola. SaskCanola's Board of Directors and some of the provincial ag ministry staff joined the group for more conversation over lunch that carried into the afternoon, regarding current crop issues and production potential. Things like cabbage seed pod weevil and swede midge were talked about at length, along with the best areas to focus research expenditures on. Wednesday evening, SaskCanola Board and staff hosted a social supper with the provincial ag ministry professionals and Canola Council of Canada's agronomists - this facilitated great networking opportunities and served as a thank-you to our extension specialists.

On Thursday, June 16, we held our June board meeting to focus on how we are working to grow producer prosperity through our strategic plan.

"Life is a journey, we don't know where it's going. Raise your hand and participate."

- Terry Youzwa, SaskCanola Board Chairman & Farmer (Nipawin, SK)

Finally, on Friday morning, we gathered in the Queensbury Convention Centre at the Canadian Farm Progress Show to host a pancake breakfast to kick-off our election and to show appreciation for our canola farmers. SaskCanola has been working to advance canola producers' interests for 25 years now - that alone, is something worth celebrating! Guest speakers included the Honourable Lyle Stewart, Saskatchewan's Minister of Agriculture, and Kirk Muyres, Saskatchewan curling athlete of Team Laycock. I spoke as well, and emphasized the need for producers to consider letting their name stand for directorship of our organization, as nominations are currently being accepted (deadline is September 30th), and there are two directors (myself included) that will be termed out. Becoming a director is a great way to gain another perspective of our industry and meet some new people who are equally as passionate about agriculture as you. We need farmers who will make a difference in the future of Canada's canola industry by striving to move agriculture forward in a postive, productive manner. "Life is a journey, we don't know where it's going. Raise your hand and participate, " Terry Youzwa, SaskCanola Board Chairman & Farmer (Nipawin, SK).


SaskCanola's June Board Meeting


SaskCanola's Board & Staff with Kirk Muyres, Team Laycock, at the Pancake Breakfast