Alberta cattle groups planning plebiscite on return to non-refundable check-off

Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) and the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA) have announced they’re aiming to hold a plebiscite this fall, with the goal of returning to a non-refundable provincial check-off.

The two organizations announced a joint agreement “to strengthen our investment in the future of the beef industry” on Friday.

They say they’re looking for producers to support a return to a non-refundable service charge or check-off in a vote that “we hope will be held this fall.”

“We need to make sure we have an industry that is well-represented and well-funded, and this agreement can provide stable funding for beef groups at the provincial and national level. Issues facing the industry are becoming more complex and our industry needs unified representation to minimize duplication and drive efficiency,” says Ryan Kasko, chair of Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association, in a news release.

If producers vote in favour, the groups say they would create the Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund, which would have its own policy and governance guidelines, and be governed by industry partners appointed by both organizations. The money would be invested in research and technology transfer, market development, education, consumer advocacy, and industry collaboration.

The proposal supported at ACFA’s Annual General Meeting in February would see a change to the group’s $2 per head levy, with $0.05 going to collectors and remitters, $1.30 to ABP, $0.25 to ACFA, and $0.40 to the Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund.

The groups say the check-off would provide approximately $1.4 million annually for this development fund.

“We are proud of the hard work both organizations have put in over the last few years to get to this point. Historically, ABP and ACFA have had common positions on many key industry issues and we look forward to capitalizing on the value and experience of both organizations,” said Charlie Christie, chair of Alberta Beef Producers.

ABP and ACFA will be hosting informational town hall meetings at the following locations in early June:

  • June 4 at 7 p.m. – Bow Slope Shipping, outside Brooks off Hwy #1
  • June 5 at 10 a.m. – Paradise Canyon Golf Resort, 185 Canyon Blvd West, Lethbridge
  • June 6 at 7 p.m. – Royal Canadian Legion, 5108-49 Ave, Innisfail
  • June 7 at 7 p.m. –Lakeland College, Room MB136, 5707 College Drive, Vermilion
  • June 13 at 7 p.m. – Hazel Bluff Community Hall, Hwy 18 and Range Road 10, five miles west of Westlock
  • June 14 at 7 p.m. – Pomeroy Inn & Suites, 11710-102nd Street, Grande Prairie

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