Farmer delegates from across Manitoba met virtually this week at Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) 38th annual meeting, which emphasized the fact that collaboration is essential to agriculture.
“KAP’s meetings are an opportunity for farmers to come together and discuss their concerns,” said KAP president Bill Campbell. “We need farmers to get involved in KAP, either by joining their local district or by participating in policy committees, meetings, task forces and working groups.”
Delegates called on KAP to address a variety of issues, including breeding, trade and market development programs, pesticide recycling access and awareness and the inclusion of Amaranthus Palmeri as a prohibited noxious weed seed.
Guests at the meeting included Derek Johnson, Minister of Agriculture; Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; Mary Robinson, president of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture; and Shannon Weatherall, senior vice president of prairie operations for Farm Credit Canada.
KAP president Bill Campbell and general manager Brenna Mahoney also shared updates about the organization’s past year, ongoing work and vision.
Highlights included a presentation from Dr. Danny Blair, director of science for the Prairie Climate Centre, on agriculture and the environment. Former KAP vice president Marcel Hacault shared an update on the new Manitoba Farmer Wellness Program, while six-time Olympic medallist and mental health advocate Clara Hughes shared her story and answered audience questions.
Campbell, a grains farmer and livestock producer from Minto, Man., was acclaimed as KAP president. Jill Verwey, who operates a mixed farm near Portage la Prairie, and Jake Ayre, a grains and oilseeds farmer from Minto, were acclaimed as vice presidents.
KAP also welcomed Colin Penner of Elm Creek, Man., as director for District 3. Penner is a grains, oilseeds and pulses farmer, farm management instructor at the University of Manitoba and co-chair of the Manitoba Young Farmers.