Manitoba Organization: Manitoba Grain Growers Association / United Farmers of Manitoba / Progressive Party of Manitoba
On 7 January 1903, farmers met at Virden and formed an organization with the primary aim “to deal with the pressing problems of grain marketing and the injustices to which farmers were subjected by other interests”. A subsequent meeting was held at Brandon, on 3-4 March 1903 with 75 people in attendance. They chose the name Manitoba Grain Growers Association for the organization, and elected an initial slate of officers:
The Association began publishing the Grain Growers Guide in 1908.
In January 1920, the Association voted to change its name to the United Farmers of Manitoba, to clarify that it represented the interests of all farmers, not just grain farmers, and to align explicitly with like-minded organizations in Ontario and Alberta. The organization became actively involved in provincial and federal politics, fielding candidates nationally in the 1921 election, and provincially the next year. It took a majority of seats and, lacking a natural leader, invited John Bracken, Principal of the Manitoba Agricultural College, to assume the premiership. The UFM governed as the Progressive Party of Manitoba, founded on an ideology of non-partisan, managerial government, with special attention to rural concerns.
Presidents (United Farm Women of Manitoba)
In 1912, the UFM admitted women as associate members and, the next year, went on record as favouring “votes for women on equal terms with men”. In 1914, its constitution was amended to recognize women as full members. A women’s section was formally organized in 1917 as the United Farm Women of Manitoba (UFWM).
“Grain Growers’ big convention,” Brandon Sun, 11 February 1904, page 15.
“Grain Growers third convention,” Brandon Sun, 16 February 1905, page 18.
“R. C. Henders, M.P., makes statement,” Manitoba Free Press, 26 July 1919, page 1.
“Federal political action favored by many districts,” Brandon Sun, 8 January 1920, page 1.
United Farmers of Manitoba, 25th Anniversary Year Book and Annual Convention Program, Portage la Prairie, 10-13 January 1928.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 16 December 2022