A coalition of Alberta farm groups formed in response to the province’s new farm labour legislation is getting itself organized.
The Alberta Agriculture Farm and Ranch Safety Coalition, or the “AgCoalition” as it’s known, announced a formalized governance structure, communications protocol and plans for involvement in provincial consultations today. The group’s mandate is to “unify the farm and ranch community in effort to foster a culture of farm safety in Alberta.” (See the list of member groups below.)
Kent Erickson, co-chair of the AgCoalition, in conversation with RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney at Farmtech this January.
The coalition does not support the province’s plan to form and consult with six technical working groups to develop the regulations supporting Bill 6, calling for a “less fragmented approach,” as co-chair Kent Erickson explains in this video. The coalition also doesn’t support the nomination process for forming these working groups, and is asking members to forward nominations through the coalition so they can be coordinated.
Erickson (past-chair of Alberta Wheat) and fellow co-chair Page Stuart (of the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association) will be discussing these concerns in a meeting with Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier and Deputy Minister Beverly Yee on February 24th.
The governance structure announced Monday includes the following committees/groups (descriptions from AgCoalition news release):
- Farm Safety Coalition Strategy Committee: This group of general managers and executive directors representing both the crops and livestock sectors will provide strategic support to the Industry Advisory Forum and Technical Working Group.
- The Technical Working Group: This group will be populated with AgCoalition membership staff and industry representatives and could potentially include external expertise if needed. This group will undergo the daily work efforts that the AgCoalition will require. Participants of this group will be confirmed after the next AgCoalition meeting on March 2nd.
- Industry Advisory Forum: This group of producers will interface with the AgCoalition and provide regular input to the work that is taking place.
- GOA Regulatory Consultation Interface: These are the AgCoalition representatives who will eventually interface with government, supported by the Strategy Committee and Technical Working Group.
- Communication and Administration Group: This group will engage with the Strategy Committee on communication initiatives and will ensure that the AgCoalition has effective administrative process in place.
The AgCoalition has also taken over the Bill 6 survey initiated by the province’s crop commissions to garner farmer and rancher opinions on the new legislation. The survey deadline has been extended to February 26th (more on the survey here.) Results will be released publicly and will be used to prepare for the consultation sessions.
The group has also established an email address ([email protected]) and is working on launching a website to provide updates.
- The Major Benefit of Bill 6 Legislation in Alberta
- FarmTech ’16 — Sorting Out the Details of Bill 6 — Ag Minister Oneil Carlier
AgCoalition members include:
|Alberta Barley Commission||Alberta Hatching Egg Producers||Forage Network|
|Alberta Beef Producers||Alberta Milk||Hutterite Standing Committee|
|Alberta Beekeepers Commission||Alberta Oat Growers Commission||Landscape Alberta|
|Alberta Canola Producers Commission||Alberta Pork||Potato Growers of Alberta|
|Alberta Cattle Feeders||Alberta Pulse Growers Commission||Western Barley Growers Association|
|Alberta Chicken Producers||Alberta Seed Growers Association||Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association|
|Bison Producers of Alberta||Alberta Turkey Producers||Western Stock Growers’ Association|
|Alberta Elk Commission||Alberta Vegetable Growers (Processing)|
|Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association||Alberta Wheat Commission|
|Alberta Grazing Leaseholders Association||Alfalfa Seed Commission (Alberta)|
|Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association||Egg Farmers of Alberta|