Hooray!!! – Verlyn Olson Knows a Farmer!!

This week Verlyn Olson was appointed as the Alberta Minister of Agriculture by Premier Alison Redford.  At first glance based on Mr. Olson’s background as a lawyer and his extensive involvement in the community of Camrose there was no reason to say that it was a bad choice by the Premier.

You need to be intelligent to be a lawyer?  Usually lawyers are very good with words?  How much trouble could Mr. Olson get into in this new role?  Well day one was not a really great start for Verlyn Olson.

During an interview with, ag reporter Mary MacArthur, the Minister admitted that, “I don’t know farming………(he should of stopped there)……..but he knows a lot of farmers.”

Let me repeat that for you.

“I don’t describe myself as someone who knows farming, but I know farmers.”

This is great news for Alberta Agriculture. The Minister of Agriculture happens to know farmers.  In response to this there were some great tweets and the best was from Colin Bergstrom.

@sevensislandag: @kevinserfas sounds like the quote Sara Palin made about her foreign affairs experience by living close to Russia. #moreofthesame

I can only imagine Alison Redford picking her cabinet and asking her MLA’s, “does anyone know a farmer? Perfect, Verlyn you are the Agriculture Minister and thank you for being honest….phew…”

The reality is that agriculture is no longer a high profile profile cabinet position.  Apparently everyone should of read Dick Haney’s post from November of 2010 before the election.  To be fair does the education minister need to be a teacher or does the health minister need to be a doctor?  Being a farmer doesn’t make you a great agricultural minister either.  What farmers should want is a minister that is smart, has leadership abilities and can advance the industry in a time where the spotlight is clearly on the oil and gas in Alberta. Based on several people I have talked to who know him, Verlyn Olson is a very smart man.  Hopefully Verlyn Olson will be a great Agriculture Minister for Alberta.  Hey how can he go wrong, he knows farmers.

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. @shaunhaney

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2 Comments

Wayne

I am sorry but we have far to many lawyers in poltics they know how to skirt the issues way to easily!!! As for the premier why would we really want someone who worked for Brian M. I would never have imagined that Albertans would put a liberal into power!!!! Hang on folks if she slams our property rights any more there best to a revolt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Reg

Hi Shaun,
The fact is so few qualified PC members were elected–the choice was limited. Better Verlyn than a city MLA!! I also agree with the fact Agriculture is not the high priority ministry it was in the 80’s. Sad really–it is the basis of the food this country eats now completely taken for granted.
I have met Verlyn at a few meetings in the area–he is a soft spoken methodical thinker that has roots in a strong agricultural community. His key supporters are a mix of ag business people and Camrose residents. The premier has appointed him and it is our job to bring him up to speed on the issues and do our best to work with him. His ministry has an excellent Deputy in John Knapp and several other top people to support the Ag ministry. As you quoted in your note above–he didn’t do himself any justice by some early comments he made–but that’s just talk–we will know more by future actions.

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