The Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association plans to collaborate with the Alberta Beef Producers on industry initiatives, despite the outcome of the 2018 ABP checkoff plebiscite.
Greg Schmidt, ACFA vice chair, reported on the plebiscite results and the New Era Beef Industry Agreement at the organization’s annual general meeting on March 12 in Red Deer, Alta. While the plebiscite didn’t yield the anticipated results, both ACFA and ABP plan to continue working together in several areas. At this time, the two organizations have held joint board meetings and formed a working group, which is in the process of creating a list of priorities to approach together. These priorities include building consumer confidence and public trust, as well as communications and advocacy initiatives. They are also discussing appointing a non-voting member to serve on both boards as a liaison.
Resolutions carried included lobbying the province of Alberta to review its Commercial Driver Certification legislation and investigating Alberta’s right-to-farm legislation. ACFA membership also voted to work with other beef industry groups to lobby for changes to veterinary medicine program admissions, in an effort to increase learning opportunities related to bovine medicine and beef production. The underlying goal behind this is to increase the number of veterinarians in Western Canada specializing in cow-calf and feedlot production. ACFA members also resolved to investigate the option of creating an electronic version of the Alberta Livestock Manifest for cattle transported for slaughter, working with Livestock Identification Services and other groups.
Five directors were elected at the meeting to serve two-year terms. Lyle Adams, James Bekkering, Bob de Boer, Kendra Donnelly and Keith Gregory joined the 2019 board of directors, which is rounded out by directors Jake Buekert, Karleen Clark, John Schooten and Jeff Smith, all in the second year of their terms. Ryan Kasko continues to serve as the ACFA chair, with Greg Schmidt as vice chair and Martin Zuidhof as past chair.