AFA members receive many benefits

Every day, decisions are made that affect your farm business. As an Alberta farm producer, when you make your views heard, you have an impact.

“As Alberta’s largest producer-funded general farm organization, AFA gives members a voice,” says Sheryl Rae, Executive Director of AFA. “By joining our organization, you can be part of the process of influencing the policy that directly impacts the working environment of Alberta’s farms, ranches and agri-businesses.”

The Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA) advocates broadly for agriculture, not just for one group or commodity. Wherever it’s needed – whether at the regional, provincial or national level – we represent our members on these (and more) producer-related agricultural issues:

•    trade
•    transportation and infrastructure
•    grain movement, grading and handling
•    plant breeding
•    energy, carbon capture and storage
•    surface rights
•    water-related risk
•    animal care
•    labour and employment standards
•    agricultural safety
•    business risk management
•    taxation

AFA members also get these great offers and benefits from our corporate partners:

• significant Chrysler fleet discount savings on new vehicles
• enhanced coverage and member savings on The Co-operators Insurance
• 10% off purchases made at Mark’s Work Wearhouse
• discount on new memberships with Farmers of North America
• special consideration for yourself or family with AFA’s annual scholarship.

All this is available to producers for only $125/year. Memberships for commodity groups, non-profits, associates and patrons are also available with different terms.

Join us today and be part of the future of agriculture in Alberta – your voice will make us stronger!

For more information, visit http://www.afaonline.ca/membership, or call our Lacombe (Alberta) office at 855-789-9151.

AFA sees common ground with new government

The election of a majority NDP government on May 5, 2015, was a historic moment for Albertans. While the change in government may introduce some uncertainty in the short term, AFA President Lynn Jacobson sees a solid basis for partnership with the incoming administration.

“We look forward to working with the new government,” says Jacobson. “Many of the NDP platform items, such as a diversified economy and an improvement in grain transportation, also match our goals. These are issues we have been working on for quite a while.”

As we have since 1959, AFA will advocate on issues of importance to Alberta farmers, ranchers and food producers. Jacobson has already reached out to Premier-Designate Rachel Notley’s office to request a meeting with the new NDP rural caucus once it is announced.

On a diversified economy

AFA couldn’t agree more that the prosperity of our province not only depends on our oil and gas industry, but on having a diverse economy that emphasizes our agriculture industry. AFA is ready to share our knowledge and to work with the new government to perpetuate Alberta’s long-standing international reputation as leaders and innovators in agriculture.

On the issue of grain transportation

Although there has been some improvement in this area, grain shipments are still not moving at a level AFA would like to see. Jacobson chairs the Canadian Federation of Agriculture Transportation Committee, which in turn is a member of the Agriculture Industry Canadian Transportation Act Review Coalition. The coalition represents a majority of Canada’s largest agricultural product shippers and processors as well as a broad cross-section of grower-funded organizations. The coalition is working to ensure Canada has a competitive rail system that meets the needs of producers and exporters. AFA has also been active with the Government of Alberta Transportation Task Team.

Jacobson says he looks forward to reviewing in detail the new government’s priorities for agriculture and sitting down with its caucus in a mutually constructive spirit. He believes that there is great opportunity to advance the industry together.

“As Alberta’s largest producer-funded general farm organization, AFA is non-partisan,” Jacobson says. “Since we are not bound by any political party or sector or group, we are available to listen to producers across all agricultural sectors and be an advocate for the changes they are looking for.”

To Verlyn Olson, with our thanks

With the provincial election now wrapped up, and a new government on the horizon, it’s hard not to jump into speculation about what’s next.

Before AFA goes down that road (and we will), we want to pause and thank Hon. Verlyn Olson, Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who lost his bid for re-election in the riding of Wetaskiwin-Camrose.

AFA had the pleasure of working with Mr. Olson since May 2012. During this time, our Executive and Board enjoyed a positive relationship with the Minister, and appreciated his contribution to this province’s agriculture industry.

AFA President Lynn Jacobson shared his thoughts while taking a break from spring seeding on his farm in the Enchant area.

“Our relationship with Verlyn was really good,” says Jacobson. “He always came with an open mind and was willing to work with people. We appreciated that he didn’t have pre-conceived ideas, always listened and gave AFA the benefit of a two-way communication.”

Jacobson said he knows AFA 2nd Vice President Humphrey Banack feels the same. Banack knows Olson well, as both live in the Camrose area.

Regardless of political affiliation, those who give of their time and talents to build the industry deserve respect and appreciation. AFA’s Board and Executive wish Verlyn Olson all the best in his future endeavors.