“There’s a lot of heavy lifting to do,” says Alberta Barley chair following amalgamation vote

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

On November 2, 2022, Alberta farmers who submit a levy to the Alberta Wheat Commission and the Alberta Barley Commission voted in favour of amalgamating the commissions.

Tara Sawyer, chair of Alberta Barley, was at the commissions’ annual event, Prairie Cereals Summit, held at Banff, Alta., where she discussed the path going forward which, as Sawyer notes, is a pretty aggressive timeline.

“We would like everything done so that the new commission would start August 1, 2023,” she explains. “There’s a lot of heavy lifting to do from now into the spring prior to the upcoming election. We have to create new regulation plans, and new bylaws. So we’re in the process of doing that. And then of course, it needs to get ministerial approval before we can call it done.”

As far as board members go — the new commission is going to consist of six wheat and six barley farmers from the two existing boards. An election for a fully new board is set to be held in the fall of next year, says Sawyer.

Seeing as the two groups already have a joint management strategy, Sawyer says she is confident in the synergies the groups have. The structure that has been in place since 2017 will stay the same.

“Instead of having two boards now, we’re going to have one, and I’m just excited. This is an opportunity to really continue to grow and look forward to what we can do for our producers. It’s an exciting time,” she says.

Check out the full conversation between Sawyer and RealAgriculture’s Kara Oosterhuis, below:


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