Farmers attending St. Jean Farm Days Wednesday had a chance to find out more about a proposal to amalgamate five of the province's commodity organizations.

Those involved include the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers, Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers, National Sunflower Association of Canada, Manitoba Flax Growers, and the Manitoba Corn Growers.

The groups have brought in Synthesis Agri-Food Network to work on the proposal.

Client Lead Rob Hannam talked about how the initiative came together.

"Those five associations today already handle 9 of the crops that are grown here," he explained. "It's about 60 per cent of the the crop acres and four of those five organizations already share office space in Carman, Manitoba. Some of them share staff positions, they do a lot of collaborating."

Hannam notes there are two key factors that need to be addressed.

"The main part, in my mind, is whether the farmer members of the association feel that they should amalgamate, so it's a farmer decision. The second part is the Manitoba Government. Manitoba Agriculture, through the Farm Products Marketing Act, authorize these associations to collect a levy, so they would need to also be on board to change and agree that the levy for the nine crops should go to this one organization. So that's step two."

A vote on the amalgamation proposal is scheduled for early 2019 at the group's AGM's.

Farmers can find out more at www.mbcrops.ca. 

st jean amalgamationFarmers packed the St. Jean Centennial Hall Wednesday to hear the presentation

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