• Devon Park Farmers’ Market

    Saturdays 9-12

    Mid- July till the first frost in September

    We are located outdoors at Devon Park in The Pas.  Our market is “open air” and strictly “make-it, bake-it, grow-it”.

    Shawn Sexsmith



    closeup of carrots & beetsDenise & grandson at table


  • Swan Valley Farmers’ Market

    Thursdays – July to October 1st

    4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    At  The Marketplace on Main Street in Swan River

    Shirley Leask    204 545  2098

    Fay Perrin   204 238 4976



  • Roblin Farmers’ Market

    Roblin Farmers’ Market

    Open Tuesdays in July and August

    10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

    126 1st Ave NW

    At the Old Rail Station

    Jaz Willing 204-937-8332


  • Teulon Farmers’ Market

    June  to Sept.
    Fridays – 3:00p.m. to 7:00p.m.
    Hwy #7, beside the CO-OP
    Darci Loehmer, 204-467-9064



  • Selkirk and Community Farmers’ Market



    June through September
    Saturdays  10-2

    Gaynor Family Library

    806 Manitoba Ave.

    Selkirk, MB


    Contact: Lenora Vincent




  • Gimli Farmers’ Market

    Middle of June through September
    Saturdays  9:30 – 3:30
    Market situated between the Gimli Art Gallery and the Tourism Building in the Harbour area
    Contact:  Diane 204-642-1365


  • Arnes Farmers’ Market

    Saturdays & Sundays –  May to October –  Sat. 9:00a.m- 2:00 p.m.  – Sunday 10:00 a.m – 2:00 p.m.
    16 km (10 miles) N of Gimli on Hwy 222
    Dennis Bobrovich – 204-642-5411 –

    Arnes Farmers’ Market  owner Dennis Bobrovich has taken his family farm and converted it the most amazing farmers’ market.  Experience  fresh homemade donuts , baking, freshly hand picked garden veggies and wander the market and enjoy the creative landscaping along side all the farm animals .

Direct Farm Manitoba News

Small Farms Manitoba and Direct Farm Manitoba are joining forces!

Small Farms Manitoba has connected eaters with farmers for several years. Kalynn Spain, the founder of Small Farms Manitoba, has worked hard to create these connections both online and in person through an innovative website, telling farmer’s stories and educational tours and events.

Direct Farm Manitoba is a new association that recently grew out of the Farmer’s Market Association of Manitoba when it recognized the need for a more inclusive organization that could support individual producers as well as Farmer’s markets and co-ops. Direct Farm Manitoba’s mandate is to advance the interest of farmer markets and farmers who market directly to consumers, by advocating on their behalf and connecting them to economic opportunities. It’s activities will and have already included supporting farmers markets, promoting local food consumption and advocacy efforts such as giving voice to the concerns of small producers regarding the new chicken specialty production program.

Direct Farm Manitoba has been active since its formation, meeting with our new Agriculture Minister, reaching out to various marketing and supply management boards to introduce themselves and establishing relationships with key staff within the Dept. of Agriculture. They have outlined a one year strategic plan that focuses on connecting with and learning about the needs of their membership and finding effective, collaborative ways to ensure those needs are heard by those creating regulation and policy within the agriculture sector.

These two important organizations within the agricultural sector are excited to announce that they are joining forces to strengthen support for the small farm community. As of January 2017, Direct Farm Manitoba will oversee all aspects of Small Farms Manitoba – Kalynn Spain will be working closely with the board over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition and to create a plan for our continued partnership.

Members of this combined organization will benefit from organized advocacy efforts, gain a voice at important venues where agricultural policy and regulations are discussed and receive updates and information regarding changes in the agriculture sector that may impact them along with enjoying the marketing support of the existing Small Farms Manitoba website and events.

The annual Small Farms Conference will now be called the Direct Farm Conference. The Conference is a one-day networking and learning event, this winter held on Saturday, January 21st at the Best Western Airport Hotel in Winnipeg. Stay tuned for more details about the Conference!



Our Advocacy

Highlights From the Meeting with the Manitoba Chicken Producers


Have you ever wondered why you can sell a whole chicken at a farmers market, but not a cut product such as chicken breasts or wings? The answer is that chicken is a food product that is highly regulated for both health and economic reasons.

This system is called supply management. It is meant to ensure a fair and consistent return to farmers. This helps them meet the costs of producing safe and healthy food. Supply management is run by the Manitoba Chicken Producers, and is regulated by a board appointed by the provincial government.

The number of meat chickens one farm can produce is controlled by the Chicken Producers. Large producers are given a quota of birds they can produce. Even the smallest of these farms produce at least 100,000 birds per year. These chickens are delivered live to large processors who prepare them for retail sale. Small farmers who raise no more than 999 are exempt from the quota system, but must carry the costs of preparing the birds for market.

Until now there has also been a middle category granting exemptions by application for producers who serve special markets. In some cases, farms have relied on these exemptions for generations. Recently the Manitoba Chicken Producers Association announced that they were changing the way in which the small exemption holders would be allowed to raise different categories of meat birds. These changes mean that some exemption producers will have to limit their production to less then 1/3 of their former sales, which will threaten the viability of their farm. The new program also provides an opportunity for producers currently raising under the 999 limit (or anyone else) to apply for a permit to raise more birds within certain restricted guidelines. (must raise at minimum 10 000 kg of birds)

Farmers raising small numbers of birds (under 999) as well as these exemption holders fill an important demand from consumers who want to buy birds directly from the farmer, either at the farm gate or at farmers’ markets. These farms also fill demand for specialty birds such as larger roasting birds, Halal etc. These new regulations have the potential to threaten the viability of existing exemption permit holders and thus limiting consumer choice.

Direct Farm Manitoba raised concerns following the announcement of this new program (see complete press release here ) and met with the Manitoba Chicken Producers. As a follow up to that meeting, Wayne Hiltz , Executive Director of the Manitoba Chicken Producers agreed to meet with interested producers to explain the new specialty quota system and answer questions. This meeting was held on November 1st, 2016 in Winnipeg. Over 40 producers came out to the meeting with many more requesting information be shared with them. “>here)

Highlights of meeting:
The meeting was opened by Phil Veldhuis, current President of Direct Farm Manitoba, who outlined the agenda and introduced Wayne Hiltz, Executive Director of Manitoba Chicken Producers. Mr. Hiltz walked through a powerpoint presentation (available here) which describes the new Specialty Quota Program (SQP). Following the short presentation, the remainder of the meeting was reserved for questions. What follows is some of the highlights from the meeting but by no means captures all points raised:
• Mr. Hiltz indicated that the goal of the program was to ensure that specialty markets were served. He indicated that they were aware that there was consumer demand for these specialty markets (roasters, silkies, halal, pastured birds) and that the program had been brought in to meet that demand.
• Mr. Hiltz referenced a previous organic chicken program that had not gone as well as they would have liked and that the new Specialty Quota had been designed to learn from those mistakes.
• Mr. Hiltz indicated that the steps to apply including the application form were available on the MCP website (details here).
• Discussion occurred regarding processing plants available in Manitoba to process birds. While there are three licensed Provincially registered plants, only one (Waldners) will take birds from producers who are doing under quota quantities.
• Mr. Hiltz indicated that he had been told several times by provincial officials that eventually that all chickens will have be inspected if they are to be sold legally in the Province (farmgate or otherwise). That in effect all non-inspected chicken sales will be banned. He did not provide further clarification on the source of this information or the timeline for implementation.
• Mr. Hiltz clarified the annual business plan required under the new specialty program. He identified that they wanted to develop long term relationships with producers and that as long as the business plan was re-submitted annually and didn’t contain a significant change in production or targeted market, that the permit would be re-approved.
• If issued a permit under this specialty quota system, producers would be unable to transfer this for 10 years. After that timeframe, the quota could be sold along with their property. Technically, quota cannot be sold; the MCP actually re-assigns it to the new business owner. The business purchaser pays an amount for the for business anticipating that the quota will be re-assigned That proposed policy is not described in the Specialty Quota Program or any published info from MCP. Existing exemption holders will not be given credit towards this 10 years based on their prior permits, and so cannot value their business using this.
• The minimum permit size is set at 10 000 kg of chicken per year (live weight). This would be approximately 3000-5000 chickens. So a farm that is now raising under the 999 limit would have to increase sales to the minimum farm size in order to qualify. Wayne indicated flexibility – that MCP would consider applications to increase to this amount over a few years. This is not documented in writing from MCP.
• There was a question raised related to the criteria that will be used to assess the permit applications should they get more applications than they can approve. He indicated that they would be looking at the target market of each producer and would be focusing on the under-served markets.
• MCPs goal with the SQP is to serve Manitoba consumers with year round fresh birds for specialty markets like Halal, and stop imports of specialty poultry from out of province.
• There is no specific definition in the SQP order of what is meant by “Specialty” – this is left to the discretion of the MCP board when considering applications.
• MCP will require production and marketing reports including customer names from permitted producers.
• This program was announced on September 23rd through a press release. The order was signed on August 31, 2016. The initial deadline for applications to be submitted was November 18th, 2016 but was extended at the request of Direct Farm Manitoba to December 22nd, 2016.
• Mr Hiltz said that the new program requires producers to own the land on which they raise their chickens. Mr. Hiltz indicated that requirement supports long term production as the board saw potential risks in rental or leasing land to the producer. The written SQP order in several places says the applicant “must be the registered owner or sole operator of a facility”, contradicting Mr. Hiltz’s statement that rental property is not permitted. This was pointed out to Mr. Hiltz, and a request made that MCP revise the wording of the order to conform with their policy. Requirement of land ownership is seen as onerous and was objected to by several members of the group. There was some discussion about arrangements that may include children who are leasing land owned by their family and whether there might be flexibility to consider these types of arrangements. Mr. Hiltz indicated that he would bring that back to his Board.
• Questions were raised regarding the annual approval process and the potential barriers that this annual process may pose to securing the necessary long term financing from banking institutions. Given the minimum size of productions is much higher than the current limit (999), producers will have to invest in more infrastructure in order to produce this amount. Infrastructure will require potential financing which may be challenging if a long term commitment cannot be confirmed from the MCP. Mr. Hiltz acknowledged that there was an intent to create long term relationships but that there still was an annual re-application process each fall.
• Each producer will have to comply with requirements of on farm food safety and animal care programs. There was some questions regarding the requirements for pastured chickens and whether this method was allowed within the regulations. Mr. Hiltz said he believed that within the federal on farm food safety programs this production method is mentioned as acceptable but that he was not intimately familiar with them.
• Mr. Hiltz indicated that MCP had consulted with 85 farmers along with the committee who authored the Lee’s report as well as the Implementation committee appointed by the Minister. Several people present who were part of the above committees provided different information and indicated that they were not aware of any consultation.
• It is anticipated that approximately 15-18 producers could be permitted under the new program.
• A question was raised regarding membership status in MCP for the producers who may be successfully permitted under this new program. Mr. Hiltz acknowledged that at present these producers will not be granted membership in MCP so they will not be allowed to vote or sit on the MCP Board. He did indicate that was the current board policy but that this could change.

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