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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 30, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 20 THE LETHBRIDQE HERALD TUOMOy, April 30, 1V74 Small cash-crop farmer EugeneWhelan reflects rural concerns in government AMHERSTBURG, Ont. (CP) Farmers in southwestern and western Ontario are a mixed lot, much like the crops they grow. The business of a soyi bean-and-corn cash crop farmer near this community is far removed from that of a dairy farmer in the London district; the problems of a Welland fruit grower have little in common with those of a Kitchener beef farmer; the tobacco farmers of Tillson- burg likely would be lost running a big hog or poultry operation. Yet all farmers in this, the country's richest and most productive agricultural region, share a common lifestyle and many of the concerns that affect farmers across the country. Similarities surface in little ways: In grace before a plain but filling lunch at a kitchen table; in farm dogs that reflect the neighborly nature of their owners; in quiet jokes, never malicious, told by the boys at the local co-op. But their common nature is evident in a larger sense as well It shows in concerns over rising land, machinery, material and fuel expenses; in dismay about the encroachments of ever-growing cities; in confusion over the intricate financial dealings and technological changes that must be adopted if a farm is to survive. Pleased It also shows in a general satisfaction with Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan, a small cash-crop farmer near the banks of the Detroit River here, who tends to reflect these concerns in govern- ment. "He's one of says Frank Broderick, 59, a marginal cash crop farmer near here who gradually is turning over a 117-acre farm to his 27year-old son Tom. "He has done a lot for co- says manager Ken Hartley, 30, of the Oldcastle, Ont., co-op which supplies farmers with their operating needs and sells their products. "He knows what farmers need and he's getting it for says Ted Raytrowsky, 43, chairman of the Ontario Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers Marketing Board, from his office in Tillsonburg near his tobacco farm. From his own kitchen table beneath a window overlooking the murky river and the dull industrial haze of car and chemical plants, Mr. Whelan comments in his customary growl: "You know, the government protects all those big car companies in all sorts of ways. A Canadian can't even drive an American's car across the border. "But farmers don't have anything like that kind of protection." Won't cut If the 49-year-old agricul- ture minister has his way, however, they soon will have "I could come back to the farm real he says "But not until I get all my programs through." The programs boil down to a system under which farmers will be guaranteed prices that will give them enough money to cover costs with a decent amount left over to live on. But unlike farm planners in and out of government who say such a state should ACORN POOLS NOWMMUBU SfMcWboniMH ordered botoroAprttlS Put tmtNiMr fun hi your own bade yord Do-U-youraotf or turn tt bum -either way your ACORN POOL will give years of fun in the sun. For moro Information contact STANLEY'S DISTRIBUTORS Box 665, COALHUR8T, Phono 328-3402 come about through restrictions on supply, Mr. Whelan's plans call for full production. "It's immoral for farmers not to grow as much as they can in a starving world." In order to keep prices up when a glutted market would normally cause pay them when times were tough. Imports Then, too, he would block any imported farm product that threatened to undercut domestic prices. Soybean Canadian Press Writer them to drop, he maintains that farmers should be able to take part in various stabilization plans. The government would guar- antee that prices to farmers would not fall below reasonable levels and farmers would contribute in good years to special funds that would growers in this region, for instance, would not be faced with a depressed market simply because midwestern U.S. farmers had a good year and were selling heavily in Canada. At home on the farm, though, such plans often are forgotten for the practical aspects of farming itself. The 220- acre farm is run by his brother Tern, but Mr. Whelan takes a close interest in the peas, corn, soybeans and wheat that grow on the heavy land. He says his farm should be retiled to improve drainage, an expensive operation in which clay tiles or plastic are set under the ground with la- ser-beam guided trenchers. "By improving the drainage we could increase production by 50 per cent." Like most farmers in this part of the country, he is increasingly concerned about urban sprawl Into the countryside. Price soars Near Windsor, many urban families have lots on the edge of farm fields and former country roads look much like suburban streets. The ever-increasing demand for land has driven prices to all-time highs. Most farmland near major southwestern Ontario communities is selling for up to an acre, double its value, in some cases, of a year ago. Farmers are caught In a squeeze. For many the temptation to "sell and live off the Interest" has become overwhelming. But for many, farming Is their life, and they try in vain to buy back Into the industry. The cost has made it impossible for young farmers wishing to .enter the business unless their fathers were also farmers, Ed Grllli, 23, a hired man on the Ornum Farms Ltd., dairy farm at Embro, run by president Charles Munro of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, has no plans to own his own farm. "I'd say It was just about Continued P. 21 Down on the farm Agriculture Minister Eugene Whelan pays a visit to his 220-acre farm hear Amherstburg, Ont., where he grows peas. corn, soybeans and wheat. Like most farmers in southwestern Ontario, Mr. Whelan is concerned about urban sprawl which is driving prices for land to all- time highs. K MTDMTIC" AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION 'LTD. ftaw 827-0910 1920 M AN. I. Guaranteed Servicing Rebuilding and ExcMnge Attention Cattlemen Always short of valuable tone during Spring seeding? -We have the staff, time, facilities, and ex- perience to feed your livestock -Hire experienced help this spring SHWWfEL CATTLE FEEDERS LTD. Box 2219 Phono 223-4333 Loeatod 4 north of on M Mid 1'A ;