Join AFA now and make your voice heard!

Did you know producers in Alberta can join AFA for only $125 a year?

For that, you get not only a voice and a vote on decisions and policy that impact agriculture, you’ll also enjoy these member benefits from our corporate partners:

• significant Chrysler fleet discounts on new vehicles, which can translate into savings of thousands of dollars
• enhanced coverage and member savings on The Co-operators Insurance
• 10% off purchases made at Mark’s Work Wearhouse
• special consideration for yourself or a family member with AFA’s annual scholarship (for producer members only).

It’s no secret that there have been many new developments for agriculture both provincially and federally this year.

A May 2015 provincial election resulted in a new government – and new Alberta agriculture minister – with plans to review health and safety legislation for the farm. Not too far behind that, dry summer weather persisted, causing a crop-withering drought in many areas of the province. An October federal election brought a new government to Ottawa.

We think the political changes bring new opportunities for farm producers and agri-business to set the course they would like to see in agriculture in Alberta.

Let younger producers lead the way. Lyndsey Smith writes in RealAgriculture.com that 30-somethings need to step up and get involved in agriculture. In fact, Lyndsey makes an eloquent case for why all producers need a voice in the industry.

“There’s never been a better time to get involved,” says Sheryl Rae, Executive Director of AFA. “We’re putting the call out for everyone who cares about agriculture to join us. That’s farm and ranch producers, commodity groups, agri-business and anyone who wants to have a say in how agriculture will move forward in this province.”

Signing up for an AFA membership is easy. You can join online in minutes or click on this link to get more information. AFA’s annual membership year runs from November 1st to October 31st.

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 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

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 (403) 789-9151.

Summer meetings underway; AFA advocating for Alberta’s farmers

AFA’s Board and Executive have just finished the AFA summer board meeting in Blackfalds, Alberta. It was a chance for our farmer executive to gather together and review progress on AFA’s 2015 priorities and brainstorm about events and opportunities coming up.

As a general farm organization, AFA attends several national and international meetings to give us a fresh perspective from around the world. We then use these insights in advocating for Alberta’s producers, ranchers and agribusinesses.

Here is a look at the summer meeting schedule of one of AFA’s executives, 2nd Vice President Humphrey Banack.

World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) General Assembly 2015

Banack is integrally involved with the Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) where he has served as their 1st Vice President since February 2011. As a CFA representative, Banack will attend the WFO’s General Assembly on June 24-27 in Milan, Italy.

This year, the WFO assembly will discuss women in agriculture and social licence, two topics of interest in Canada as well. Social licence will be a point of discussion at the upcoming CFA roundtable (see section below); Banack also points to a recent announcement from the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council on new research that examines and addresses barriers to advancement for women in the agricultural industry.

Banack explains that the WFO meetings are a way of connecting with farmers around the world, and says there is always something to learn from these encounters. The event hosts farmers from over 70 countries.

“Travelling to other places and talking with international farmers lets you see that we may speak a different language, but we are all dealing with many of the same things,” Banack says. “Then, when we come back, we can bring this perspective to the work we do for Alberta producers.”

Canadian Federation of Agriculture Board of Directors meeting

AFA President Lynn Jacobson and Humphrey Banack will both attend this upcoming national meeting to be held July 13-15 in Prince Edward Island.

This is a chance for general farm organizations – like AFA and those from other provinces – to gather and discuss issues of importance to Canadian agriculture. On the agenda this year are regional updates, climate change and a roundtable discussion on social licence. Federal and provincial agriculture ministers also attend to be part of these discussions.

This year’s CFA meeting will be a first for Hon. Oneil Carlier, Alberta’s new Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. AFA President Lynn Jacobson will be seated next to the Minister during the roundtable discussion. Jacobson and Banack will have the opportunity of discussing Alberta’s agricultural issues as well as giving the Minister a national perspective.

“We’ll be introducing Mr. Carlier to others from the national team,” notes Banack. “We look forward to this important event when agriculture organizations come together in one room to discuss the issues that will move Canadian agriculture forward.”

Odour Management Guide

Banack is co-chair of the Odour Management Team of Alberta’s Clean Air Strategic Alliance working on creating a best practices guide for assessing and managing odour in Alberta. The guide is due for release in September 2015.

Agriculture is just one of the industries where odour can cause issues with neighbours. The team is looking at ways of assessing, mitigating and managing odour complaints from a wide range of sources – from backyard fire pits to municipal landfills.

“Odour drift is something agriculture producers have to manage, whether it’s a smell from the products we use on our crops or the odour from livestock,” Banack says. “This guide will give those who take the calls a tool to effectively deal with odour complaints.”

These are just some of the activities AFA is working on for Alberta’s agricultural producers and businesses. To find out more, visit our website or YouTube channel.