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Oct 22

General Manager’s Message – Investing in people

Posted on Oct 22 By: Lisa Skierka

As Alberta Barley enters the 2013 planning process, your staff are looking forward to taking the Board’s priorities and ideas and creating meaningful programs that really work for farmers.

Over the past year, we’ve worked to invest in people who can make these projects and priorities happen. From the Barley Council of Canada (BCC) to the Western Canadian Deduction, our goal is to provide ongoing structure for existing programs, as well as a firm foundation on which to build new and innovative ideas. By investing in people, we are investing in the future of Alberta’s (and Canada’s) barley industry.

Partnerships and relationships are our top priority, whether they’re with farmers, researchers, government, funding agencies, industry or other stakeholders. Strong relationships allow us to ensure the long-term viability of the work we’re doing. These relationships are enhanced by strong extension programs, which we are working to build so that you – our members and ultimately, our investors – have more than financial investment in the Commission. We are looking for true engagement so that our work reflects the real input – and values – of barley farmers.

Collaboration is one value our members have identified in the past. To that end, we are working together to find shared office space with the Alberta Wheat Commission, and hope the space will lead to partnering more closely in other areas. After all, many barley farmers are also wheat farmers, and vice versa.

With the December annoucement of the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) funding programs at our AGM, we have also been working with researchers from across Canada to coordinate a national approach to research funding for barley. This initiative is in conjunction with out work on the BCC, as coordination of national research will ultimately go through the national barley organization.

We have had the support of the Western Grains Research Foundation on this initative and are excited about the depth and scope of the research. Our next step is working on a GF2 AgriMarketing application to further grow our industry.

This is going to be another busy year for barley. We hope to be in our new office space within the next few months, so come by for a visit the next time you’re in Calgary. The coffee’s always on.

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