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Sep 12

Alberta Barley seeking farm leaders to join board of directors and delegate leadership team

Posted on Sep 12 By: Victoria Decker

(Calgary, Alberta) September 12, 2019 – Alberta Barley is now accepting nominations for producers to join the board of directors and delegate leadership team. Alberta Barley’s farmer-led board of directors and delegates represent producers in their region and provide strategic direction to Alberta Barley management.

Director positions open for nomination include one director in Region 3, one director in Region 4 and one director-at-large from either Regions 1, 2, 5 or 6. There are also 17 Alberta Barley delegate positions open for nominations between the six electoral regions. Delegate positions available in each region include:

  • Region 1 – four delegate positions open for nomination;
  • Region 2 – two delegate positions open for nomination;
  • Region 3 – five delegate positions open for nomination;
  • Region 4 – one delegate position open for nomination;
  • Region 5 – three delegate positions open for nomination; and
  • Region 6 – two delegate positions open for nomination.


Thanks to a recent revision by the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council, Alberta Barley’s director and delegate nomination forms only require three eligible nominator signatures rather than 10. Elected directors serve a term of three years while elected delegates serve a two year term.

“The commission works hard on behalf of barley famers to ensure our long-term profitability,” said Dave Bishop, Alberta Barley chair. “I have served on many commission boards over the years and it’s satisfying to contribute to matters that affect our bottom line such as transportation and innovative research. If you’re interested in representing farmers in your region, bringing forward new ideas and having an impact on our industry, I encourage you to submit a nomination form.”

Farmers interested in a director, director-at-large or delegate position must submit a nomination form (see below) by Friday, November 1, 2019 by fax (403-717-1966), email at bkennedy@albertawheatbarley.com or mail (200-6815, 8 St NE, Calgary, AB, T2E7H7).  

Elections for Region 3 and 4, if required, will take place at the corresponding regional meetings in Lacombe on November 13 and Camrose on November 27. If an election is required for the director-at-large position, votes will be collected at all six regional meetings through a traveling ballot box, then will be tabulated and announced at Alberta Barley’s annual general meeting on December 11, in Banff, Alberta. Open delegate positions will be elected from the floor at each regional meeting.

Next Level Farming (regional meetings) event information can be found on our events page.

All farmers running for a position must have produced barley in the region they running for and paid a service charge on barley in the past two crop years. To run for the open director-at-large position, a farmer must grow barley in one of the eligible regions, which includes Regions 1, 2, 5 or 6.

Media Contact:
Erin Tateson
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Alberta Barley
403-219-7902
etateson@albertawheatbarley.com


Nomination Forms: 

Delegate Nomination Form 2019

Director Nomination Form 2019

Director-at-Large Nomination Form 2019

Jul 3

Alberta Barley says BCC’s new strategic alignment will improve value chain efficiency and benefit farmers

Posted on Jul 3 By: Victoria Decker

Alberta Barley welcomes the strategic realignment of the Barley Council of Canada (BCC) which paves the way for greater collaboration throughout the barley value chain resulting in better service for farmers. 

Changes will involve collaboration on delivery of service and sharing of resources with Cereals Canada, the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) and the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute (BMBRI). These synergies will maximize financial contributions from the barley value chain, including provincial barley commissions.

BCC’s new strategic direction is the result of the national barley roundtable which brought stakeholders together to determine a plan for the value chain to maximize the use of its financial resources while eliminating overlap. The roundtable was formed following the development of Getting to Growth: a western Canadian barley action plan, which was spearheaded by Alberta Barley. The action plan is aimed at encouraging industry wide collaboration and serves as a guide for strategic direction and initiatives to promote growth in the barley sector over the next 10 years. 

The Barley Roundtable was initiated by the prairie barley commissions – Alberta Barley, Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission and the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association.

“The roundtable process resulted in a number of recommendations to make better use of resources while ensuring all stakeholders are working toward a common strategy,” says Dave Bishop, Alberta Barley chair. “BCC’s new strategic direction will support the value chain’s efforts to work toward the actions laid out in Getting to Growth.” 

BCC also announced yesterday that Phil de Kemp will be retiring from BCC following four years of service as executive director and president. Following de Kemp’s retirement, Erin Armstrong will be assuming the interim executive director role. Armstrong brings to the role more than 30 years of service in the agriculture industry including 14 years in the malting and brewing sector.

“I would like to thank Phil de Kemp for his leadership and service to the barley sector,” says Brian Sewell, Alberta Barley vice-chair. “Phil has been involved with BCC since it began. We appreciate his on-going dedication to the role and wish him well in his retirement. Looking ahead, we are pleased to welcome Erin Armstrong as interim executive director as she transitions into the role this summer.”

More information about BCC’s new strategic alignment can be found in their press release here. The Getting to Growth action plan can be found here.

Media contact:
Victoria Decker
Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions
vdecker@albertawheatbarley.com
403-219-7906

Apr 30

Team Alberta welcomes new Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and looks forward to working together on farmers’ top priorities

Posted on Apr 30 By: Victoria Decker

Today, Team Alberta welcomes the province’s new Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Devin Dreeshen. Team Alberta looks forward to working with Minister Dreeshen and fellow members of cabinet on advancing Alberta’s $6 billion crop sector.

Minster Dreeshen is the Member-elect for the Innisfail – Sylvan Lake riding. Minister Dreeshen was raised in central Alberta on his family farm near Pine Lake and studied Economics and Political Science at the University of Alberta. In 2008, he started working for the Honourable Gerry Ritz, former federal minister of agriculture in the Harper Conservative Government. Over the eight years, Minister Dreeshen worked in communications and policy promoting grain transportation and international trade; most notably on the introduction of marketing freedom for wheat and barley farmers.

Team Alberta is a collaboration of four of the province’s crop commissions: Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola, Alberta Pulse Growers and the Alberta Wheat Commission. Our key priorities aim at improving the economic success of farmers through:

  • Continued access to international markets for nearly $5 billion of Alberta crop exports;
  • Enhanced competitiveness through research and innovation;
  • Recognition of agriculture’s contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and exemption from carbon levies for all sources of energy used on farm; and
  • Reducing regulatory hurdles.

 

Team Alberta is eager to work with the new minister, the department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) on matters that impact Alberta farmers. Further, Team Alberta extends congratulations to all cabinet ministers upon today’s appointments.

Media Contacts:

Erin Tateson
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions
etateson@albertawheatbarley.com
403-219-7902

Rachel Peterson
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Pulse Growers
rpeterson@albertapulse.com
780-986-9398 ext. 108

Michelle Chunyua
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Canola
michelle@albertacanola.com
780-454-0844

Mar 28

Farmer participation needed for Team Alberta grain conditioning

Posted on Mar 28 By: Victoria Decker

(Calgary, Alberta) March 28, 2019– Team Alberta is seeking farmer participation for a grain conditioning study that will assess on-farm energy consumption and efficiency of grain drying and conditioning systems.

The data obtained from the grain conditioning project will be a critical source of information for Alberta farmers regarding efficiencies, implementation or expansion of grain conditioning systems. Information gained will also be used for advocacy purposes such as improving programs and policies that seek to reduce the cost burden associated with on-farm grain conditioning in Alberta.

Interested farmers can expect a three-year commitment working closely with experts to install necessary measuring implements, perform data readings and manual logging throughout the drying periods. Participating farmers will have their energy-use monitored and gain valuable knowledge of their system’s efficiency rate, along with individualized recommendations to make operational decisions to reduce costs of their grain conditioning practices.

Team Alberta is seeking farmers who may be drying in the spring for a pilot project that will start in April 2019. For the study launch in July 2019, Team Alberta requires 40 systems and is seeking farmers who operate with one or more systems. All information collected in the study will remain confidential and only aggregated data will be used in final reports.

Team Alberta needs volunteers! Interested farmers are encouraged to complete the form in the link below. Upon completion, farmers will be contacted for an intake interview by our project partners at 3D Energy, an energy engineering, management and project development advisory company.

For further questions regarding the study please contact Shannon Sereda, government relations and policy manager with the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions at 403-219-6263 or ssereda@albertawheatbarley.com.

APPLY NOW TO PARTICIPATE

Media Contacts:

Michelle Chunyua
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Canola
michelle@albertacanola.com
780-224-7970

Rachel Peterson
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Pulse Growers
rpeterson@albertapulse.com
780-986-9398 ext. 108

Erin Tateson
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions
etateson@albertawheatbarley.com
403-219-7902

Mar 25

AdvancingAg graduates encourage participation, deadline for applications approaching

Posted on Mar 25 By: Megan Hall

(Calgary, Alberta) March 25, 2019 –The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions would like to remind potential mentees to apply for the AdvancingAg program ahead of the March 29, 2019 deadline.

The AdvancingAg Future Leaders Program is an initiative focused on mentoring young agriculture professionals in Alberta. The year-long program pairs mentees, aged 18-35, with a carefully selected mentor who is passionate about the agriculture industry and eager to help mentor the next generation. Mentors and mentees will be paired up based on the interests and career goals of the mentee.

“As we enter our third-year, we are so proud of the mentorship that this program has provided and the opportunities that have been given,” said Gary Stanford, chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission and member of the AdvancingAg Selection committee. “Many of these outstanding young professionals have gone on to make a big impact in Alberta agriculture and we are excited to see what this year’s group will go on to accomplish.”

Among AdvancingAg’s 20-plus graduates, a few have gone on to represent the cropping sector in Alberta at the producer group level. This includes 2017-2018 program alumnus Holly White and Olivia Sederberg.

White recently stepped forward to join the Alberta Canola board as a director for region 12, representing south-eastern Alberta. She credits her time in AdvancingAg with providing critical tools for personal growth.

“The AdvancingAg program was a very rewarding experience,” explained White. “Through this unique opportunity, I was able to network, take leadership courses and access further educational opportunities that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.”

Sederberg joined the Alberta Wheat Commission as a regional representative for region two in 2018.

“AdvancingAg allowed me to improve my agronomy and agribusiness skills by connecting me directly with resources at conferences and crop tours throughout the province,” said Sederberg. “The information and experience I gained will help to guide me when representing the producers in my area. I can’t recommend this program enough!”

To become a member of the next generation of Future Leaders, visit www.advancingag.ca/apply or contact info@advancingag.ca. The program deadline for entry in March 29, 2019.

 

For more information, contact:

Cole Christensen – Administrator, AdvancingAg

P: 403-589-3529

E:info@advancingag.ca

Mar 15

Class 1 driver’s licence extension application is now available to agriculture workers

Posted on Mar 15 By: Victoria Decker

The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions are pleased to inform farmers that the extension application from the Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT), as part of the new Class 1 driver’s licence training requirements, is now available on the Alberta Transportation website. Agriculture workers looking to obtain a Class 1 driver’s licence may apply for the extension between March 15 to November 30, 2019. Successful applicants granted the extension have until March 1, 2020 to comply with MELT requirements.

Farmers and agriculture workers looking to obtain a Class 1 driver’s licence are encouraged to refer to the attached documents that further detail the application process for the one-year extension. Agriculture workers who have obtained a Class 1 driver’s licence between October 11, 2018 and February 28, 2019 are also encouraged to refer to these documents as there’s imperative information regarding the MELT transition period of which this time-frame pertains to.

Upon hearing farmers’ concerns on the new-MELT implementation date of March 1, 2019, the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions as part of Team Alberta fought hard for this extension from the Government of Alberta. The unintended consequences of the March 1 timing for the MELT program were concerning for seeding this year’s crop. MELT requires over 100 hours of training, and the current capacity to administer the program will take time to meet the surge in demand across the province.

MELT Class 1 Driver’s License Agriculture Sector Extension
Extension Application Form for Agriculture Workers
Agricultural Sector Stakeholder Message from Alberta Transportation

If farmers require clarification or more information please contact Shannon Sereda, Government Relations and Policy Manager with Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions at ssereda@albertawheatbarley.com or 403-219-6263.

Farmers can also find more information on the Alberta Transportation website.

Team Alberta is a collaboration between four of Alberta’s crop commissions: Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola, Alberta Pulse Growers and the Alberta Wheat Commission, that advocates for the growth, competitiveness and sustainability of Alberta’s crop sector. Collectively, Team Alberta represents approximately 20,000 grower members. 

Media Contact:
Erin Tateson
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
etateson@albertawheatbarley.com
403-219-7902

Mar 1

Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions thank Minister MacAulay for his dedication to farmers, welcome Minister Bibeau as new agriculture minister

Posted on Mar 1 By: Victoria Decker

Following this morning’s news of the federal cabinet shuffle, The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions wish to thank the Honourable Lawrence MacAualay for his service and dedication to farmers throughout his time as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). The commissions also welcome Marie-Claude Bibeau as she steps in to lead the agriculture portfolio. The commissions look forward to working with Bibeau to further advance farm policy.

Lawrence MacAulay leaves AAFC to serve as minister of veterans affairs and Marie-Claude Bibeau joins the agriculture portfolio following her post as minster of international development.

During his time as agriculture minister, Lawrence MacAulay played a key role in securing several political wins for farmers including the passing of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, historic legislation that paves the way for long-term solutions to the rail transportation challenges that farmers have faced for decades. MacAulay also played a critical role in supporting the commissions’ successful lobbying efforts to retain the cash ticket deferral mechanism, following threats of its elimination in the March 2017 federal budget. This cash flow management tool helps farmers avoid excess swings in taxation levels and encourages grain delivery during optimal market conditions.

“The Alberta Wheat Commission had been pressing for rail transportation reform since our organization started in 2012,” says Gary Stanford, Alberta Wheat Commission Chair. “We saw this historic legislation as a major priority and Minister MacAulay showed commitment and dedication to ensuring it would pass. Further, Minister MacAulay put farmers’ needs first when the cash ticket deferral mechanism was on shaky ground. We took a lead role in lobbying for its retention and he pushed hard to ensure we were successful. Looking ahead, we welcome Minister Bibeau and we look forward to working with her to continue building competitiveness and success for farmers.”

Minister MacAulay also played a critical role in ensuring farmers’ needs were met during the federal government’s negotiations of two major trade deals – the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) – which secures continued access for Canadian wheat and barley to both of these markets, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which unlocks new access to key markets and improves the trading environment for Canadian wheat and barley. His dedication to further opening the Chinese market for Canadian agricultural products is also clear from his most recent trip to China where 18 agriculture and agri-food agreements were signed worth more than $353 million.

“These trade deals were critical to ensuring global competitiveness of Canadian barley,” says Dave Bishop, Alberta Barley Chair. “This a major win for farmers and we were appreciative of Minister MacAulay’s leadership in ensuring our needs were met throughout the negotiations. We look forward to working with Minsiter Bibeau to ensure farmers are well represented on key policy files.”

The commissions appreciate Minister MacAulay’s overall contributions to the Government of Canada’s target of increasing global agricultural exports to $75 billion by 2025.

With a mission to drive profitability for Alberta’s wheat and barley farmers, the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions operate with an integrated management team. Our amalgamated staff results in administrative cost savings that allow the commissions to further advance innovative research, market access, farm policy and government relations. In this new era of collaboration, the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions serve as leaders in the Canadian agriculture industry.


Media contact:

Victoria Decker
Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions
vdecker@albertawheatbarley.com
403-219-7906

Feb 27

Farmers seeking Class 1 driver’s licences can apply for one-year exemption from new MELT program 

Posted on Feb 27 By: Victoria Decker

Farmers seeking Class 1 driver’s licences can apply for one-year exemption from new MELT program 

Team Alberta is pleased that Transportation Minister Brian Mason has heard farmers’ concerns and will be allowing agricultural workers to apply for a one-year exemption from the Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) as part of the new Class 1 driver’s licence regulations. The new rules are set to come into effect on March 1, 2019.

Understanding that the March 1 timing of the new rules could have significantly impacted many farmers’ ability to hire properly trained and licensed drivers prior to seeding the 2019 crop, the Government of Alberta has proposed the extension to address these concerns in the short-term.

Team Alberta agrees that proper training is important to improve the safety of our roads. However, the unintended consequences of the March 1 timing for the MELT program are concerning to farmers who are dependent on seasonal labour for seeding this year’s crop. MELT requires over 100 hours of training, and the current capacity to administer the program will take time to ramp up to meet the surge in demand across the province.

“This is extremely good news for farmers,” says, Kevin Serfas, Alberta Canola Vice-Chair. “By accommodating the agriculture industry’s unique needs, we’ve avoided significant challenges that would have hurt our ability to seed this year’s crop. We appreciate the Ministry’s support on this issue.”

“Safety has always been the number one priority on my farm,” says Dave Bishop, Alberta Barley Chair. “We appreciate that the Department of Transportation recognizes that we can have safer roads without compromising farmers’ ability to get our crop in.”

“In many instances, farmers were finding it impossible to access current services to obtain a Class 1 licence under the current rules,” says, Gary Stanford, Alberta Wheat Commission Chair. “This gives us some breathing room when the new regulations come into effect and time to discuss the implications of this policy on the agriculture industry.”

Following this news, Team Alberta and other members of the agricultural industry will be having a technical meeting with the Deputy Minister of Transportation to develop the industry’s path forward with the Class 1 Licence. Team Alberta looks forward to communicating additional details to farmers as they become available. Further information from the Government of Alberta can be found here.

“We appreciate the government working with us to ensure we can avoid skilled labour shortages while keeping our roads safe,” says Don Shepert, Alberta Pulse Growers Chair. “We will keep farmers updated as this file progresses.”

Team Alberta is a collaboration between four of Alberta’s crop commissions: Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola, Alberta Pulse Growers and the Alberta Wheat Commission, that advocates for the growth, competitiveness and sustainability of Alberta’s crop sector. Collectively, Team Alberta represents approximately 20,000 grower members.

Media contacts:

Michelle Chunyua
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Canola
michelle@albertacanola.com
780-224-7970

Rachel Peterson
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Pulse Growers
rpeterson@albertapulse.com
780-986-9398 ext. 108

Victoria Decker
Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat and Barley
vdecker@albertawheat.com
403-219-7906

Feb 21

Barley farmers can claim 7 per cent SR&ED credit on their 2018 taxes

Posted on Feb 21 By: Victoria Decker

Barley farmers paying the Alberta Barley check-off are eligible for a tax credit through the Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) program for their investment in Alberta Barley-funded research. The rate for the 2018 tax year is 7 per cent.

Alberta Barley funds research aimed at breeding for higher yield, better disease resistance, improved agronomic performance and better end-use quality.

The federal SR&ED program encourages R&D investment through tax-based incentives, giving claimants tax credits for their expenditures on eligible R&D work. The tax credit percentage is based on the amount invested in R&D that meets the criteria laid out by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Farm individuals should use form T2038 (IND) to claim this credit when filing their taxes while farm corporations must use form T2SCH31.

For more information, contact the Canada Revenue Agency directly, or visit the CRA website.

Producers who have requested a refund of their check-off are not eligible for the tax credit.

For more information, please contact:
Syeda Khurram
CFO and HR Director
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions
skhurram@Albertawheatbarley.com
403-219-6264

Media contact:
Victoria Decker
Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions
vdecker@albertawheatbarley.com
403-219-7906

Feb 7

Team Alberta requests extension to the March 1, 2019 mandatory Class 1 driver training deadline

Posted on Feb 7 By: Victoria Decker

(Calgary, Alberta) February 7, 2019 – Changes that affect obtaining a Class 1 driver’s license are coming March 1, 2019 and Team Alberta is requesting that the Government of Alberta consult with the agriculture sector and establish a reasonable deadline to avoid unintended consequences for farmers who are dependent on seasonal labour.

These changes will require any person who wants to obtain a Class 1 driver’s licence to take the Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) Program. Many farmers are highly dependent on seasonal labour that requires a Class 1 licence and much of that labour is hired and trained immediately prior to the spring planting season. This could significantly impact many farmers’ ability to hire properly trained and licensed drivers prior seeding the 2019 crop.

The existing provincial shortage of skilled labour in this area, combined with changes to the privately-run licensing bodies, including re-training and re-testing of instructors and examiners, means that training programs are difficult to get into.

“Team Alberta supports safer and more highly skilled drivers operating on our roads and highways, says Hannah Konschuh, Alberta Wheat Commission Vice-Chair from Cluny. “But the timelines and lack of consultation with farmers would make it virtually impossible to comply with new regulations by the deadline. Additionally, there doesn’t seem to have been an increase in the training capacity to accommodate this big change.”

“We fully support the need for proper training and safety on our roads and highways,” said Kevin Serfas, Vice-Chair of Alberta Canola from Turin, Alberta “We get where this came from, our Board meeting after Humboldt was very emotional as my family and others in Alberta Canola had direct connections to players on that team.”

“These regulations will have an immediate impact on farms in the short-term if they don’t already have Class 1 drivers in place for this year,” said Dave Bishop, Chair of Alberta Barley.
“Longer-term, we need to ensure there is appropriate training for the increasing number of farms that rely on Class 1 drivers and their ability to attract them to agriculture.”

“There is already a shortage of skilled labour in agriculture and these changes in regulations will make access to labour increasingly more difficult for this crop year,” said Don Shepert, Alberta Pulse Growers Chair. “We ask the government to work with us so we can seed our crops and comply with necessary training requirements.”

For more information on the mandatory Class 1 training regulation visit: https://www.alberta.ca/commercial-driver-training.aspx.

Media contacts:

Michelle Chunyua
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Canola
michelle@albertacanola.com
780-224-7970

Rachel Peterson
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Pulse Growers
rpeterson@albertapulse.com
780-986-9398 ext. 108

Victoria Decker
Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat and Barley
vdecker@albertawheat.com
403-219-7906