ALMA Dies on the Alberta Government's Budget Killing Floor

Today the Alberta Government released its budget and there were some casualties for agriculture.  In an effort to cut costs and internalize much of the agency work that has been spun out to third-party boards, the Alberta Livestock Meat Agency had its funding cut.

Other boards, commissions and agencies that will be impacted are:

  • Alberta Grains Council
  • Alberta Farm Safety Advisory Council
  • Next Generation Advisory Council
  • Agriculture Operations Practice Act Policy Advisory Group
  • Agriculture Development Committee

The above groups activities will either be extinguished or their responsibilities are being internalized and managed by the agriculture department.

The Alberta government was the sole funder for the ALMA. Since ALMA’s inception, the goals of the agency have been increased customer access and market development, enabled product differentiation, enhanced productivity, and sustainable development

SEE MORE: Past ALMA stories and videos

Today when RealAgriculture asked ALMA Chairman, Dr. David Chalack his reaction to the news:

I was surprised and disappointed when I heard the news. The government hopes to achieve cost cutting and deliver benefit to the industry through a different mechanism than ALMA.

The rumours of ALMA being changed, restructured or shelved were out in the market as our RealAg team covered different events in Alberta this winter.  Even when the rumors were out there, one reader told us, “I didn’t believe it was actually going to happen until today.”

This is not necessarily a cut in the research budget for livestock but the mechanism for distribution of funds and research priorities will change.  ALMA’s budget was 25 million going forward the funding will be less but the end of the ALMA era will lead to changes to the how and what of livestock research.

Dr. Chalack concluded our discussion by sincerely stating that this is not the end.

We are hopeful that the majority of the work will continue and we will work closely with the Alberta government to shape the future of livestock research.

 

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