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Internal feuding sows doubt regarding farm group’s future

Despite the best intentions, a Saskatchewan-based farm group representing growers and rural districts is facing challenges amid internal bickering and charges of directors having personal agendas instead of the best interests of the membership at heart.

October 27, 2008  By Globe and Mail

October 27, 2008

When Glenn Blakley helped create the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan eight years ago, he hoped it would become a strong voice for farmers and ranchers in the province.

At first, the organization managed to live up to its billing. It became the largest agricultural group in the province and gained recognition for tackling issues such as soaring diesel prices, tax policy and the problems facing cattle and hog producers.

But in recent years, APAS has been plagued by internal feuding. It has prompted several senior staffers to quit, led many members to drop out and raised questions about the organization's survival.

The friction comes at a critical time for farmers, who are dealing with falling prices for many food commodities and rising costs for fuel, fertilizer and feed.

The dissension boiled over this month when Mr. Blakley, a founding director, quit as president after sending out a three-page memo that attacked some directors for pursuing petty internal politics, power struggles and personal agendas. He also called for an overhaul of the organization.
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