Grain details multiple facets of Western Canada’s grain sector
By Diego Flammini
A Manitoba author’s new book highlights the ins and outs of Western Canada’s grain industry.
“It’s a story about how grain transportation works in Western Canada,” David Maiers, who started writing Grain in April 2020, told Farms.com. “It’s about railways and how they move grain, the large inland grain terminals, farm equipment and history.”
The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic led to Maiers starting the 27-page book, which is the sixth he’s written.
His father worked as an elevator agent in Roblin, Man. for 35 years and his maternal great-grandparents have railroading history.
Maiers wanted to have a part of his family history preserved should something happen.
“Nobody knew what they were dealing with and I started thinking I better get some things written down about mom and dad’s families,” he said. “A lot of their family members were original settlers in the 1870s and I thought it important to get something into the national library so there’s a record of us and our family.”
Each page includes a photo and underneath the photo is a related story.
The book is written in a way to keep its content relevant for years to come.
While the grain industry itself gets larger, how it operates is unlikely to change, Maiers said.
“With inland terminals and loop tracks, the industry has become bigger, but I don’t foresee the industry changing that much,” he said. “We’ve got canola plants being built in Saskatchewan and it may mean there’s more production of canola as a primary crop and it may surpass wheat, but that grain still needs to travel by rail to get to ports.”
Maiers wrote the book with people outside the ag industry in mind as well.
If Canadians are interested in where their food comes from, this book documents part of that journey, he said.
“I tried to write it so the average person could get something from it,” he said. “People want to know how food gets to their tables, but it doesn’t get there without the railways and the infrastructure in Western Canada.”
Anyone interested in purchasing a copy of the book can do so from Maiers’s website.