A Rimbey area dairy farmer has been named to the Canada’s National Farmers Union’s top post.
Jan Slomp was acclaimed as the new president of the NFU during its four-day annual convention ending Nov. 30 in Ottawa.
Slomp, previously the Alberta regional co-ordinator on the NFU’s board, replaces grain grower Terry Boehm of Allan, Sask. as president.
Slomp, who operates Rimrose Dairy, located northwest of Rimbey, with his wife Marian is pleased and excited about his new position.
“It’s quite an honour and a trust of the membership,” he said.
Slomp sees the role of the NFU as one that is becoming increasingly crucial due to what he believes is the federal government’s blatant disregard for democracy, he said.
“The government tends to listen only to big business and commodity groups embedded with that business. The Harper government weakened environmental protection and lacks vision for family farmers,” Slomp stressed the NFU is not only concerned with protecting the family farm, it speaks in favour of clear public policy that incorporates the health and well being of all Canadians.
“Our policies are deeply rooted in public interest,” he said. “We speak for all members across the country and take a balanced approach to policies and issues that affect everyone.”
In the last two or three decades, the government has enforced deregulation of many policies, tipping the scales of power in favour of corporations directed from abroad, he said.
“We need better policies for food and farmers and we need to be the voice for those running family farms,” he said.
Slomp was pleased to note there were a sizable number of young farmers attending the NFU conference in Ottawa.
“It was exciting. There was a strong contingent of well-educated young farmers who are carrying the torch forward. They have a tremendous influence.”
The National Farmers Union is a direct-membership organization made up of Canadian farm families who share common goals. Every member of the farm family, including children ages 14 to 21, are voting members.
The goal of the NFU is to promote the family farm and to work together to achieve agricultural policies that uphold the dignity and security of income for farm families and protect the farm for future generations.
The NFU also has associate members who help family farmers build a sustainable and nutritious food system in Canada.
The mandate of the National Farmers Union is to promote the betterment of farmers in the attainment of their economic and social goals.
Ann Slater of St. Marys, Ont. was named as first vice-president (policy), replacing Colleen Ross of Nelson, B.C.