Checkoff deadline nearing, get back your well deservd money! - Page 3 - The Combine Forum
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post #21 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 01:31 AM
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One of the biggest challenges i think a commission has, and further to hihi's post, is to present what these groups are actually doing.

When Ol' Percy S was going to the Supreme Court with Monsanto several years back i was on the Canadian Canola Growers at that time. We were intervenors (making a plea before the Supreme Justices on issues relating to the case that a judgement would affect the group represented), however the case wasn't about whether or not Percy did anything wrong, it was whether or not any living biotechnology should be allowed to hold a patent in Canada. Other presenters for example were from the medical industry for technology such as the Oncogene invented right here in Canada that allowed a mouse to be born with cancer by allowing a cell to transform into a cancer cell. Patented all over the world.

Percy's lawyer did have a good strategy, if not being able to patent a living cell could be argued and won, there would be no case against him. However, what this also meant was no RR canola, corn, soy, no liberty canola, no biotechnology for agriculture of any kind would have ever came to Canada since companies could no longer protect their investment. It also meant that every other biotech industry in Canada, including cancer research could also not be protected and would no longer happen - in Canada.

What was interesting about the "canola farmers" presentation was the justices focused in on a single statement, that canola wasn't canola because of biotechnology, biotechnology merely added one or two traits to canola that were specific to biotechnology they had patented and rode upon the base of canola. Had we not presented, the justices would never have known this and, god forbid ruled 5 to 4 against patents vs the actual outcome of 5 to 4 allowing patenting to continue. It was as if the justices felt canola was owned by biotech companies.

Can you imagine what the Canadian Ag industry would have looked like today had the justices ruled against patenting? Hello Muster Gold!!!!

But how was it received by many farmers? Over and over we were being yelled at that we were fighting with Monsanto to protect them while the poor farmer was being hurt. In reality, a thief was finally being convicted and patentability of biotech remained in Canada. Commission work often is a thankless job.

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post #22 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 10:51 AM
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Just a reminder that the end of August is the deadline for to apply for your check off refund from many of the groups.

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post #23 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 05:01 PM
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Good time to bump this I think.

CGC posts $100 million surplus - The Western Producer

We've never applied to have our check offs refunded but this story undoubtedly puts us over the edge. Clearly the amount were paying in is much too high. I would also like to see more transparency in showing exactly what it is we are accomplishing with these check offs. The Alberta pulse check off at 1% seems utterly ridiculous to me. I don't mind seeing some dollars but they're clearly too high right now.
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post #24 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 07:48 PM
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Good time to bump this I think.

CGC posts $100 million surplus - The Western Producer

We've never applied to have our check offs refunded but this story undoubtedly puts us over the edge. Clearly the amount were paying in is much too high. I would also like to see more transparency in showing exactly what it is we are accomplishing with these check offs. The Alberta pulse check off at 1% seems utterly ridiculous to me. I don't mind seeing some dollars but they're clearly too high right now.
So not to rain on anyone's parade...... but CGC fees are NOT checkoff. This is for grading / inspection / verification of outbound shipments form terminals. and msut be for something else as well I would not have thought they even made that much let alone a surplus. about 4 years ago the government quit subsidzing CGC inspection services and said they had to operate on a cost recovery basis - they obviously got a little over revved! Hopefully costs will be adjusted in the future.


As to checkoff refunds, I hope that people requesting them never go to a field day, never plant any varieties funded by checkoff and never sell anything that is bound for international markets. because I am none to excited to be funding their operations with my checkoff!!!!!!! having refundable checkoffs is a great way to make the provincial organizations know when they are not doing their jobs but as a standard practice requesting checkoff really disgusts me.
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post #25 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 08:16 PM
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So not to rain on anyone's parade...... but CGC fees are NOT checkoff. This is for grading / inspection / verification of outbound shipments form terminals. and msut be for something else as well I would not have thought they even made that much let alone a surplus. about 4 years ago the government quit subsidzing CGC inspection services and said they had to operate on a cost recovery basis - they obviously got a little over revved! Hopefully costs will be adjusted in the future.


As to checkoff refunds, I hope that people requesting them never go to a field day, never plant any varieties funded by checkoff and never sell anything that is bound for international markets. because I am none to excited to be funding their operations with my checkoff!!!!!!! having refundable checkoffs is a great way to make the provincial organizations know when they are not doing their jobs but as a standard practice requesting checkoff really disgusts me.
Thats what I was kinda hoping someone would comment on here, have called a few people today and wasn't able to get a straight answer from anyone.

So these user fees are reflected within basis then?

Still, the Pulse checkoff is ridiculously high and needs to be adjusted.

As for the field days, I went to one last year and pretty sure it cost me $100. As for varieties, are we not already paying a large premium for certified seed already?
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post #26 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 09:06 PM
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provided they actually plough it all into agronomy and varieties and not something dumb like promoting vitamin K levels to consumers in a third world country (which they are unfortunately doing) I am all for that pool of money the pulse growers are sitting on right now. We are in crisis mode with regard to root rots and white mould and need to get a lot of research out there to try and figure it out! Or we wont have a pulse crop industry in 10 years. part of the reason they have so much is huge acreages the last 2 years, something which will likely be going down this year, as will checkoff collections. take a look in the variety guide. way over half of the pea and bean varieties and all of the lentils and chickpeas come right from the pulse growers free of charge. its too bad that model wasn't out there for other crops. In cereals and flax a pile of government and grower funds go into variety development but industry partners put theirs in as well and get royalties in return for the investment. I would like to hope those royalties would be a lot higher if we were not funding as well but really who knows. It really would be something if a few "open" wheat varieties (CDC Go maybe is?????) would come out - we have put a pile of money in through WGRF over the years!


there is almost no undirected research in agriculture anymore. almost every research / breeding project needs seed money put in by an interested grower organization before it will be matched and very often even multiplied by various industry and government groups. but if we are not there to start it wont get off the ground. FYI $100 (really 50 once you subtract meal and the bus) pays for less than half of one plot of one treatment of one year in a replicated trial at that field day.
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post #27 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-19-2017, 11:26 PM
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When this type of money is accumulating as a surplus how careful do you think they are with the money they do spend? I know of some on those boards that are frugal with producers money but a LOT of that checkoff money is spent because it is there to spend with little oversight and accountability.

With private enterprise there is motivation to do well, accomplish things and not waste money. With government there is neither risk nor reward for those involved as a general rule. It is the wrong system to motivate advances in genetics and agronomy, even international trade. We got the same load of BS from the wheat board when they were around: "We do all this market development and promotion for you..." Yeah right, the big grain companies did most of the selling anyways! At least they are motivated by profit, it's our best option.

I wonder what the CGC will do with their pot of money, probably throw it away like the CWB did with our stolen contingency fund money years ago.....
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post #28 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 12:59 AM
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Just looking at the Sask Canola Growers and the Sask Barley Development Commissions annual reports. The SCGA board members pay themselves an average of $28,171, the barley board $8,688. Are the canola guys doing 3.2x the work as the barley guys, I doubt it. The canola council has a staff of 8, Sask barley, 1 administrative staff working part time. So what are the sask canola guys doing to justify a half time salary, are they really working 20/hours a week on board business. If they are having to work that much perhaps they should hire some more staff to take some off the burden of continually going on vacations, sorry "destination meetings". The boards job is to give advice, oversight and hire a manager, not to micro manage, not to go on every trade trip, not to go to every meeting in a resort village. Give me a break, this excess and waste is why people ask for their money back. 14% of the Sask Canola money is refunded and these idiots on the board think everything is honkey dorey. I would think if everyone was happy the number should be less then 5%, its less then 5% for the barley board. The vote for the board is a joke, we are supposed to get enough info about a person from a 1 paragraph bio to get an informed opinion. I am going to start choosing to vote with my checkoff dollars.

I know the canola growers have 10x the revenue as the Sask barley board, so I expect lots of increased costs in comparison, but using them as an example to show what can be done on a shoe string budget. I suspect that some of these boards that are forced to work on a shoe string budget and don't pay their board member's such an ostentatious salary have a better calibre of board member who do it for the love and benefit of the industry. I suspect the members of the Sask Canola board do it for the money and for the most part are politician farmers. I want the board members to be paid fairly for their time for our industry, I just don't want my money to be wasted on excess and it being continually flaunted by their twitter profiles as a guise of them working hard for the money.
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post #29 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 07:49 PM
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I went to the Sask canola annual meeting when I went to Saskatoon for the farm show. I have the annual report and the refunds were under 7%. It seems most commissions are similar to that. We are all paying a lot of check off and it is important to go to these meetings and find out what they are doing with our money. I will say that I have never requested a refund from one of these commodity groups but they need to be watched so money is spent correctly. Another thing , I hear that voter turn out is piss poor for most of the board elections. More people need to vote if they are unhappy. Did you guys vote?
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post #30 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-21-2017, 08:45 PM
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I'll be honest, I never vote in these things. I don't have a clue who the person is or what they are like or have done. Usually there is a short paragraph about them but not enough info to actually make an honest opinion about them. I used to be a member of KAP but quit when I realized it was mostly just there to advance people's political career and they went with the check off route. Don't get me wrong, they have done some good work, but I found they were losing sight of where they had come from and who they were there for. I know next year I will be making a point of getting my check off money back from all organizations, if I feel my money would be well spent by a group, I will donate it, I don't feel they are entitled to it.

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