Mr. Speaker, it is that time of year again. Farmers are entering their fields for the annual spring seeding.
Western grain farmers are anxiously waiting for their chance to seed their wheat and barley crop, which, for the first time in 69 years, can be marketed through the Canadian Wheat Board or through an open market.
As we witnessed in March of this year, the new voluntary CWB established its first grain handling agreement, providing certainty and clarity to farmers as they prepare for the open market in 2012. This agreement demonstrates how every grain company, including the CWB, will be offering contracts and programs to earn farmers' business in the new marketing environment. Farmers now have the freedom to market their grain as they see fit.
Canadian farmers are shrewd and competent international businessmen. They know how the markets work and they know how to minimize their risk. In these exciting times for western grain farmers, I only ask of them one thing: be careful, work safe and stay alive to enjoy this marketing freedom.