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Mar 17

Interim position assigned for Alberta Barley general manager

Posted on Mar 17 By: Sydney Duhaime

(Calgary, Alberta) March 17, 2015 — Alberta Barley has appointed Syeda Khurram and Linda Whitworth to share the role of general manager on an interim basis following the Board of Directors’ meeting.

Khurram and Whitworth are senior managers and have worked at Alberta Barley since 2011. Khurram, finance and HR manager, and Whitworth, market development manager, will continue to manage their individual portfolios in addition to interim management responsibilities.

This follows the departure of former general manager Lisa Skierka.

The Board of Directors will initiate an executive search immediately with an announcement expected by July 31, 2015.

For more information, please contact:

Caitlan Carver
Public Relations Coordinator
(403) 219-6263
ccarver@albertabarley.com

Dec 15

Alberta Barley board appoints new chairman and vice-chairman

Posted on Dec 15 By: Sydney Duhaime

Jason Lenz, vice-chairman and Mike Ammeter, chairman in Banff following the 2014 AGM.

(Calgary, Alberta) December 15, 2014 – Alberta Barley’s board of directors elected region three director-at-large and former vice-chairman Mike Ammeter as chairman following their annual general meeting last week.

“I am honoured to have been elected as the new chairman of Alberta Barley,” said Ammeter. “This is a big responsibility, but I am up to the job and looking forward to standing up for Alberta’s barley farmers.”

Ammeter is a third-generation Canadian farmer born and raised in the Sylvan Lake area. He has been involved with Alberta Barley for over 15 years—serving as a director since 2011. Ammeter takes over the role from Matt Sawyer, who served as chairman from 2009 to 2014.

Replacing Ammeter in the vice-chairmanship is region three director Jason Lenz. Born and raised in the Bentley area, Lenz is a also a third-generation farmer. He lives and farms on Lenz Farms, located two miles southwest of Bentley.

With a year as director under his belt, Lenz said he is looking forward to stepping into a more active role on the policy front.

“Farmers should have a voice in shaping our industry,” said Lenz. “I would like to thank the board of directors for their trust in me to help carry their vision forward.”

Both Ammeter and Lenz will serve for one year in their respective roles.

For more information, contact:

Sydney Duhaime
Communications Coordinator
(403) 219-7913
sduhaime@albertabarley.com

Oct 24

Barley and oat farmers congratulate Cereals Canada – Provincial organizations anticipate working together

Posted on Oct 24 By: admin

(Calgary, Alberta) October 23, 2013 – Alberta Barley, Saskatchewan Barley Development Commission (SBDC), and the Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) would like to congratulate Cereals Canada on their establishment and look forward to working with them on issues of common interest.

“We anticipate working with Cereals Canada on issues of national and international importance, largely through our participation in the Barley Council of Canada,” said Alberta Barley Chairman Matt Sawyer. “On the home front, we remain focused on representing Alberta barley farmers and working to achieve profitability for our crop.”

All three organizations will work in collaboration with their provincial, regional and national counterparts to ensure that strategic initiatives that benefit farmers, including market access and policy, remain a top priority.

Alberta Barley, POGA and the SBDC are not members of Cereals Canada. Nevertheless, they recognize the value of the work being done to address the changes to Canada’s agricultural landscape.

“We welcome another voice advocating for Canadian agriculture,” said Shawna Mathieson, Executive Director of POGA. “However, POGA will continue to be the voice, and promote the interests, of oat growers throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.”

In Saskatchewan, SBDC Chair Bill Cooper noted the importance of ensuring farmer levies are invested responsibly.

“We are accountable to the Saskatchewan barley farmers,” said Cooper. “They expect nothing less than their directors to invest in projects that will add value to barley production.”

For more information, contact:

Cole Christensen
Interim Communications Manager
(403) 589-3529
cchristensen@albertabarley.com

Shawna Mathieson
Prairie Oat Growers Association
Executive Director
(306) 530-8545
smathieson@poga.ca

Oct 18

CETA secures future for Alberta barley farmers

Posted on Oct 18 By: admin

(Calgary, Alberta) October 18, 2013 – Alberta Barley is optimistic that the newly signed Canada–European Union Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) will help to secure our agricultural future and unlock the significant potential for further global trade.

“Alberta’s barley farmers are excited about CETA and what it means for our future,” said Alberta Barley Chairman Matt Sawyer. “This historical deal gives us a chance to open more doors and grow our exports to the European market.”

The CETA is expected to remove tariffs on virtually all of Canada’s agriculture and food products over time, giving our export markets a significant boost. Currently, Canadian agrifood exports to the EU are $2.4 billion a year, a number that could increase by more than $1.5 billion annually under this agreement.

“In Canada, we are fortunate to produce more than we need to feed our country, and our farmers rely on exports to be profitable,” said Sawyer. “CETA will help us to reach over 500 million consumers in the EU, which is huge news for us.

“Canada exported over 1.4 million tonnes of barley in 2012 and that number will grow under CETA,” he added. “However, the biggest gain for Alberta barley farmers is that increased access for beef and pork in the European marketplace means greater demand for feed barley at home.”

Alberta accounts for nearly half of Canada’s annual barley production; approximately nine out of every 10 farms in Canada are dependent on exports.

For more information, contact:
Cole Christensen
Interim Communications Manager
(403) 589-3529
cchristensen@albertabarley.com

Oct 16

Finalizing CETA will open doors for Alberta barley farmers

Posted on Oct 16 By: admin

(Calgary, Alberta) October 16, 2013 – Alberta Barley is urging our federal and provincial governments to finalize the Canada–European Union Comprehensive and  Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) in order to secure our agricultural future and strengthen global trade.

“Farmers around Alberta have plenty of reason to urge for CETA to be concluded,” said Alberta Barley Chairman Matt Sawyer. “Our province already exports high-quality barley, as well as world-class beef and pork. An agreement will drive demand for all of our agriproducts.”

A joint study by the Canadian government and the European Union has estimated that Canada’s processed food exports could grow by as much as $2 billion annually as Canada integrates itself into the European market. Removal of tariffs has potential to drive sales higher in the EU—which has 500 million consumers.

“It’s essential that our government continues to build on momentum around increased international trade in order to grow our industry,” said Sawyer. “In Canada, we are fortunate to produce more than we need to feed our country. Through CETA, we can help to strengthen the future of our agricultural industry and ensure profitability for our farmers.”

Currently, Canada is the world’s fifth largest agri-food exporter in the world, generating more than $40 billion each year through its beef, malting barley, pork, wheat and canola supply.

For more information, contact:
Cole Christensen
Interim Communications Manager
(403) 589-3529
cchristensen@albertabarley.com

Sep 23

Alberta Barley unveils new logo

Posted on Sep 23 By: admin

(Calgary, Alberta) September 23, 2013 – Alberta Barley revealed its new logo today that represents Alberta’s vibrant farming landscape.

The new logo features a sunburst of barley rich in the land against the backdrop of the iconic Alberta Rockies. The image is meant to reflect Alberta’s supreme barley-growing conditions.

“Our new logo tells the story of Alberta Barley and the land,” said Matt Sawyer, Alberta Barley chairman. “When it came to selecting a new logo, the Board wanted to illustrate how fortunate we are to farm in Alberta and I think this logo does that. It shows everyone how our unique location allows us to grow the best barley in the world.”

The logo also features the new condensed version of Alberta Barley’s name, “Alberta Barley.” This change is part of a new effort to make the organization synonymous with the very crop it represents.

“The board wanted a logo that reflected our grass roots mandate and reflected our overall branding strategy,” said Lisa Skierka, Alberta Barley general manager. “In the coming months, you’ll see our new logo and the Go Barley logo at work promoting our exceptional product.”

The transformation comes just in time for the move into shared office space with the Alberta Wheat Commission on Oct. 1, 2013.

For more information, contact:

Caitlan Carver
Public Relations Coordinator
c: (587) 216-4064
e: ccarver@albertabarley.com

Jul 31

Government, industry mark first year of Western Canadian Deduction

Posted on Jul 31 By: admin

Claresholm, AB (July 31, 2013) – Today Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada announced a successful first year of collecting the Western Canadian Deduction via Alberta Barley.

“Our goal from the beginning was to maintain uninterrupted funding for the recipient organizations,” said Commission General Manager Lisa Skierka. “We have diligently managed the deduction to ensure that the recipient groups receive stable funding to continue their important work and we look forward to building on that success moving forward.”

Administered by the Commission, as per the Regulations Respecting Research, Market Development and Technical Assistance (Wheat and Barley), the deduction funds three recipient groups: the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) and the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi).

“WGRF would like to acknowledge the federal government for supporting the establishment of the transitional check-off while the new wheat and barley commissions are being developed,” said WGRF Chairman Dave Sefton, a farmer from Broadview, SK.
“The benefits of these check-offs are clearly recognized by producers and the federal government.”

CMBTC Managing Director Rob McCaig echoed Patterson’s sentiments.

“The funds from the Western Canadian Deduction help CMBTC by ensuring our success for the Western Canadian farmer,” he said. “It’s essential that all facets of the Canadian malting barley value chain participate in funding so that CMBTC continues to be successful in the promotion of Canadian malting barley into domestic as well as international markets.”

With more than 20 years of experience administering the pre-existing check-off for barley in Alberta, the Commission adapted quickly to its new administrative role.

“The farmer funds collected from the federally mandated levy on deliveries of wheat and durum have played an important role in Cigi’s ability to maintain international customer contact and programming over the last year,” said Cigi CEO Earl Geddes. “The funds received by Cigi to date have been similar to the farmer commitments to wheat market development that previously flowed directly to Cigi from the Canadian Wheat Board.”

Collected at a rate of $0.48 per tonne of wheat and $0.56 per tonne for barley ($0.04 per tonne of barley sold in Alberta), the deduction is used to fund research, market development and technical assistance.

Alberta Barley is a not-for-profit organization directed, funded and controlled by the province’s barley farmers. The Commission co-ordinates and sponsors research, market development, technology transfer and policy development on behalf of its producers

For more information, contact:

Anne-Marie Bruzga-Luchak
Communications Manager
c: (403) 919-1024
aluchak@albertabarley.com

Trevor Bacque
Communications Coordinator
t: (403) 219-6266
c: (403) 479-8738
tbaqcue@albertabarley.com

Jul 11

Successful inaugural year for Western Canadian deduction

Posted on Jul 11 By: admin

Calgary, AB (July 11, 2013) – Alberta Barley (ABC) extends its thanks to farmers and grain buyers for supporting the Western Canadian deduction for wheat and barley in its first year.

Administered by the Commission, as per the Regulations Respecting Research, Market Development and Technical Assistance (Wheat and Barley), the deduction funds three recipient groups: the Western Grains Research Foundation (WGRF), the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre (CMBTC) and the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi).

Collected at a rate of $0.48 per tonne of wheat and $0.56 per tonne for barley ($0.04 per tonne of barley sold in Alberta), the deduction is used to fund new varieties as well as new marketing opportunities—giving wheat and barley farmers a competitive edge in the global market place.

“As administrators of this deduction, we have diligently managed it to ensure the recipient groups receive stable funding to continue their important work,” said Commission General Manager Lisa Skierka.

The check-off, while mandatory, is refundable. Farmers are reminded that all refund applications must be submitted to the Commission by July 31, 2013. Refunds are only processed once per year, and recent amendments to the regulations allow for 90 days to process and return the refund.

“We encourage farmers to contact our accounting staff with any questions they might have,” said Skierka.

For more information on the wheat and barley deduction, visit www.wheatbarleycheckoff.com or call 1-800-265- 9111.

Alberta Barley is a not-for-profit organization directed, funded and controlled by the province’s barley farmers. The Commission co-ordinates and sponsors research, market development, technology transfer and policy development on behalf of its producers.

Media contact:

Trevor Bacque
t: (403) 219-6266 
c: (403) 479-8738 
tbacque@albertabarley.com

Jul 9

Barley industry receives $8 million dollar Agri-Innovation Program grant

Posted on Jul 9 By: admin

Lacombe, Alberta (July 9, 2013) – Agriculture Canada announced today that $8 million dollars has been granted to Alberta Barley to fund its Barley Research Cluster projects.

This funding will cover 28 projects to meet relevant industry priorities for feed, malt and food barley.

“This is a game changer for the future of barley,” said ABC Chairman Matt Sawyer. “With an investment like this, barley producers will reap the rewards of innovation for years to come.”

According to Sawyer, the Barley National Research Cluster projects aim to increase the competitiveness of the Canadian barley sector by focusing on market-driven factors that stimulate the demand for barley, while incorporating scientific advances to reduce the expenses and risks that producers face when growing barley.

“We’re eager to work with farmers, for farmers,” said ABC Vice-Chairman and Barley Council of Canada (BCC) Director Trevor Petersen. “This is just the beginning—once these projects start to gain traction, the sky’s the limit for barley farmers.”

Alberta Barley will work closely with the BCC on managing these projects. Both groups are committed to accelerating the development of all classes of barley varieties through the adoption of best practices in technology, agronomic methods, crop management, breeding and genetic techniques.

“The BCC is looking forward to collaborating with industry to expand barley’s potential,” said BCC Chairman Brian Otto. “We are now on the road to making Canada’s barley industry a global leader.”

ABC’s Research Manager Garson Law will manage the Barley National Research Cluster projects. The Commission is currently waiting on further funding details from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).

The cluster is supported under the AgriInnovation Program, a five-year initiative of up to $698 million that is designed to serve as a catalyst for innovation by supporting research, development, commercialization, and adoption of innovative products, technologies, and services. The terms of this investment are subject to the signing of contribution and collaboration agreements.

To track progress on projects, please visit www.albertabarley.com.

Alberta Barley is a not-for-profit organization directed, funded and controlled by the province’s barley farmers. The Commission co-ordinates and sponsors research, market development, technology transfer and policy development on behalf of its producers.

For more information, contact:

Anne-Marie Bruzga-Luchak
Communications Manager 
(403) 919-1024 
aluchak@albertabarley.com

Trevor Bacque
Communications Coordinator 
(403) 219-6266 
(403) 479-8738 
tbaqcue@albertabarley.com

Jun 20

Alberta barley farmers applaud grassroots leadership

Posted on Jun 20 By: admin

Calgary, AB (June 20, 2013) – Praise is rolling in from Alberta barley farmers as they congratulate their Saskatchewan counterparts on the establishment of new Wheat and Barley Development Commissions. The announcement was made during the Farm Progress Show in Regina.

The two commissions will be producer-elected and directed, ensuring Saskatchewan wheat and barley farmers have the resources and leadership needed to stay competitive at all levels.

“The creation of Saskatchewan’s wheat and barley commissions will substantially increase farmer input into the grain industry in that province,” said Matt Sawyer, ABC chairman. “At Alberta Barley, we are excited to collaborate with these new groups as we seek to find new ways to generate innovation in the barley and wheat industries.”

Wheat and barley represent close to one-third of the annual crop acreage in Saskatchewan. The province also accounts for an average of 50 per cent of Western Canada’s wheat (11.5 million acres) and 35 per cent of its barley (three million acres). The two commissions will be fully operational by the end of 2013.

Alberta Barley is a grassroots, not-for-profit organization directed, funded and controlled by the province’s barley farmers. The Commission co-ordinates and sponsors research, market development, technology transfer and policy development on behalf of its producers.

For more information, contact:

Trevor Bacque
Communications Coordinator (403) 219-6266 (403) 479-8738 (cell) tbacque@albertabarley.com