Wilfred Allen (Butch) Harder was born and raised at Lowe Farm, Manitoba. In 1977, he married Joyce Recksiedler. They have one son, Dean Allen, married to Rose-Anne Harder, nee Nesbitt. On their 5,000 acre farm at Lowe Farm, the Harder family produces wheat, barley, canola and specialty crops.
Wilf has been involved in farm policy issues at the local, provincial and national levels for most of his life. Early in his farming career he became involved in the Lowe Farm Co-op, the Canadian Auctioneers’ Association and the Carman Co-op Implements Committee. Wilf has been a member of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association (CSGA) for over 30 years.
In 1987, Wilf was elected to the Advisory Committee of the Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) where he was Chair for four years. Following the CWB’s legislative restructuring in 1998, he served as a farmer-elected Director until 2004. As a long-time supporter of orderly marketing, Wilf was involved in organizing a number of farmer rallies in support of the CWB. During his time as an elected director of the CWB, Wilf served on the Protein Grading, Audit, and Farmer Relations Committees. He championed issues such as the marketing of fusarium-infected wheat and improving communications with farmers, labour unions, government and industry.
Wilf has been actively involved with the National Farmers Union (NFU) since 1969, holding several elected positions at the local, provincial and national levels.
While serving as an elected Director of Manitoba Pool Elevators, and later Agricore, Wilf was appointed to the boards of X-Can Grain, Western Co-op Fertilizers and the Canadian Co-operative Association. Since 2005, he has been an elected Director of the Manitoba Canola Growers’ Association (MCGA). He has served on the MCGA’s Marketing Committee and as their representative on the executive of Keystone Agricultural Producers. In 2013, Wilf was elected Secretary of MCGA. In 2005, he was appointed by Manitoba Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk to the board of the Manitoba Agriculture Services Corporation.
In his community, Wilf has been an elected Member and Chair of the St. John’s Lutheran Church Council in Rosenfeld. He was an early supporter of the orderly development of land for housing and industrial use in the Lowe Farm area. Wilf gives freely of his time to help the community improve and grow.
Wilf has been awarded the Distinguished Co-operator Award by theManitobaCo-op Council, the Grassroots Leadership Citation by the NFU and a Thirty Year Long Service Certificate by the CSGA. Wilf’s forthright manner and his ability to “call it as he sees it” have fostered positive change at all levels of society.