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26 / January / 2016


AFA’s Annual General Meeting explores the rapidly changing face of agriculture


Red Deer, Alberta (January 26, 2016) From dynamic farm technology and climate change to the impact of Alberta’s farm safety legislation, the 2016 Annual General Meeting of Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA) highlighted new ways producers are managing change on the farm.


The theme of the two-day AGM, which wrapped up Friday in Red Deer, was Shifting Gears. The meeting highlighted agriculture’s evolving landscape and the key issues that farm producers and ranchers will encounter in the near future.


“Agriculture producers are accustomed to change and are very adept at shifting gears,” says AFA President Lynn Jacobson, who farms near Enchant. “This meeting gave our members a chance to see what’s on the horizon and offered innovative ways to meet those challenges.”


A series of expert speakers explored the opportunities and challenges of shifting gears from many angles: developments in farm technology including drones, research on water risk and its impact in the province, legal questions surrounding farm labour legislation and safety, new ways of assessing pasture production, plus a look at surface rental issues and wells that have been abandoned due to the economic downturn in the oil and gas industry.


For many AFA member-delegates, a highlight was the provincial update from Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Hon. Oneil Carlier. Members had a chance to ask questions following his presentation, and talk quickly turned to actions for moving forward on Bill 6.


Minister Carlier told the AFA delegates that the government is now focussed on getting input on Alberta’s farm labour legislation, indicating, “we will take the time necessary to get this right”. He also thanked those in the room for their passion for the agriculture industry and the significant contribution farm producers make to the provincial economy.


In addition to speaker presentations on a wide variety of topics, the AGM is a time for AFA members to propose, debate and vote on resolutions dealing with issues that affect Alberta farm producers. During the AGM’s Thursday and Friday sessions, members passed resolutions regarding plans for the Indian Head Shelterbelt Centre, rail transportation costs, the development of a farm safety plan, ways to minimize waste in municipal areas, surface rental reimbursement, commitment to varietal research and compensation to producers for carbon sequestering and trespasser damage.


AFA delegates also re-confirmed the executive team for another year, with a mandate to engage in vital policy issues, raise awareness of the organization and grow the membership. The executive team for 2016 is: Lynn Jacobson, President; Keith Degenhardt, 1st Vice President and Humphrey Banack, 2nd Vice President.


“As a general farm organization, AFA deals with concerns that impact all farmers and ranchers in the province, not just issues that are commodity-specific,” says Jacobson. “This past year has highlighted the importance of having one organization reviewing these broad issues and advocating on behalf of Alberta farmers with a unified voice. We’ll address the key concerns raised during this meeting with all levels of government to ensure a stronger industry for all.”


Alberta Federation of Agriculture is Alberta's largest producer-funded general farm organization. Whenever decisions are being made that affect the province's agricultural industry, we're there, providing an effective voice for Alberta's farmers. For more information on AFA, please visit our website at: www.afaonline.ca


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For more information, please contact:


(Mr.) Lynn Jacobson, President at 403-894-5208

Humphrey Banack, Vice President at 780-679-4449