Today Ian Steppler (Director), me 🙂 and Daryl Wright (Secretary) of the Manitoba Beekeepers’ Association sat down with Miles Beaudin, Director of Primary Agriculture Manitoba Agriculture and Rheal Lafreniere, Provincial Apiarist for a full day meeting around our industry support, growth and development.
This was our second meeting with Miles in regards to a number of industry objectives the MBA has set out as priorities to protect and to move our Beekeeping industry forward. There was a lot accomplished today!
Our provincial disease inspection service has been negotiated for a 3 years term with further investment into the program to help achieve our 5% target. This will ensure our commercial operations are adequately covered and it will provide the flexibility to include smaller hobby type beekeepers to be included into the program. We are extremely happy to have this program in place again and to have the increased investment to adapt this program to recognize our changing industry dynamics.
We have been negotiating extensively to bring honey bee diagnostic services back to Manitoba Beekeepers. Details are still getting ironed out by Rheal but it appears that we will have access to AFB, rAFB, EFB, varroa, Nosema and viral analysis (DWV, KBV, IBPV) analysis as a cost recovery service. This is still in its development stage but this investment into progress is a big win for Manitoba Producers.
With the resignation of our provincial pollination specialist, we have been lobbying hard to ensure our industry does not fall short on support services if the position gets cut due to attrition. Within our lobbying efforts and negotiations there have been discussions around “thinking outside of the box” and to evolve our industry services to better serve and bring more value to our honey industry. We have requested the development of a technical transfer program to serve our Manitoba Beekeepers. A service that would work at arms length from the government and the association to work directly with beekeepers on extension, research and any such activities needed or supported by Manitoba Beekeepers.
We have developed a proposal to hire in a consultant to help draft a business plan for this Technical Transfer Program. As it’s developed, we plan on using the direction from our membership (survey) to identify objectives and priorities that are important to Manitoba Beekeepers and develop the Tech Transfer Program to best suit OUR needs.
With a plan at hand, we can then reach out to government and industry to support this initiative. We are such a small industry with such big problems. Our role within agriculture and to everything around us is important. We need help from everyone around us to find the answers to many of our problems. We are being heard!
Today was a good meeting,👍
Today was the reason why the MBA needs to be supported. The Function of the MBA trurly stood out at today’s meeting. The MBA is our Beekeeping Industries channel to communicate through all levels of government and supporting industries. Our collective voice, instantly amplified as it’s directed to the right people who can act to help accommodate our objectives. Last year’s update on our strategic planning document has already yielded huge results, before we have even had a chance to finalize it! Our association has been working hard on baseline board development, short term and long term industry planning. Through this document we have been able to clearly communicate our industry objectives and yield action on all fronts. By working collaboratively on the issues that are important to our membership, our voice is heard.
The way I relate to this is very simple; I have 5 kids in the back seat of my car, they all want to go to 5 different restaurants…I then drive to where I want to go, nobody is happy and everybody is fighting. If my 5 kids negotiate and agree on one restaurant, I damn will be going to that restaurant, they got what they wanted, my kids are happy I’m happy.