STAFF The second of the Canadian Wheat Board s two farmer-elected pro-deregulation directors resigned from the board last week.
Jeff Nielsen, who farms at Olds, and has represented the CWB s District 2 in southwestern Alberta since 2008, announced his resignation last Monday in a letter to board chairman Allen Oberg.
Nielsen follows northwestern Alberta producer Henry Vos, who quit last week as the CWB s District 1 director, citing among other reasons the decision last week of a majority of directors to take the federal government s Bill C-18 to court.
Nielsen also publicly claimed Monday that the directors decision to take legal action ran counter to advice from the board s own lawyers and external counsel.
The directors, Nielsen said, had been told by the lawyers that such a challenge would be fruitless and would have little to no effect on the government moving ahead with C-18, the Conservatives bill to end the CWB s single marketing desk for Prairie wheat and barley.
Nielsen, like Vos, alleged a lack of understanding and respect (to farmers)… apparent at what should have been informative, forward-moving producer meetings this past summer.
Rather, Nielsen said in his letter to Oberg, your and other directors personal fight to maintain the status quo has prevailed. You personally have said you recognize the need for proactive change, and that view is reflected by producers in the CWB s annual surveys. This, however, has not been reflected in your ongoing leadership or public actions or comments.
As someone who has worked for years to see wheat and barley continue to be successful crops in Western Canada my decision to resign is regretful, said Nielsen, a past-president of the Western Barley Growers Association and former board member with the Grain Growers of Canada.
Being 100 per cent committed to representing the interests and views of producers, I had little option but to resign from the CWB.
Nielsen was elected to the CWB s board to replace its original pro-deregulation District 1 director, Jim Chatenay, after the Penhold, Alta. grower s term limit ended.
Nielsen also previously served as a farmer-director with UGG and Agricore United, before the latter s merger with Saskatchewan Wheat Pool into Viterra.