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NEWSMAKERS – for Feb. 8, 2010

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach has named Drumheller-Stettler MLA Jack Hayden as his new minister of agriculture and rural development and dropped his predecessor George Groeneveld from cabinet. Hayden, a two-term MLA has been Stelmach’s minister of infrastructure since 2008. He was also named to the provincial Treasury Board. Hayden farms at Endiang, about 75 kilometres southeast of Stettler, and has previously served as a reeve and councillor for the County of Stettler. Before moving to provincial politics in 2004, Hayden served on the prime minister’s External Advisory Committee on Cities and Communities, and on the board of directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, which named him to its roll of honour in 2006.

Groeneveld, the MLA for Highwood since 2004, and ag minister since 2006 is a cattle producer and grain grower from the Blackie area.

Arno Doerksen, a former chairman of Alberta Beef Producers and MLA for Strathmore-Brooks, was named deputy whip of the government caucus.

Stan Eby has been elected president of the Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance (CAFTA), a coalition of national and regional organizations, associations and companies that lobby in support of a more open international trading environment for agriculture products. Stan is a cattle producer from Kincardine, Ont. and former president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. He replaces another cattle producer, Darcy Davis from Alberta.

Canadians won’t have Byron Dorgan to kick around anymore in coffee shop conversation. The Democratic senator from North Dakota announced last month he will not run for election this fall. Dorgan has been a vocal opponent of the Canadian Wheat Board’s single marketing desk and vocal supporter of country-of-origin labelling. He spent 30 years in the Congress, six terms in the U.S. House of Representatives starting in 1980 before moving to the Senate in 1992.

Brian Rossnagel will be inducted into the Saskatchewan Agricultural Hall of Fame for 2010. A pioneer in

barley and oat breeding, Brian has been the breeder or co-breeder of over 60 varieties. His work has been recognized by honorary life memberships in both the Saskatchewan and Canadian Seed Growers associations. He has been a professor of plant science at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre since 1977.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed Carol Mitchell, the two-term MPP for the beef-rich counties of Huron-Bruce minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs. Mitchell is a former parliamentary assistant to the minister of agriculture. She replaces Prince Edward-Hastings MPP Leona Dombrowsky, who moved up to the education portfolio. Mitchell served as reeve of Clinton’s town council, and was elected as the first reeve of the amalgamated municipality of Central Huron, merging Clinton, Goderich and Hullet. She was later elected warden of Huron County before moving to provincial politics in 2002. Her background is in retail but her roots are in a strong agricultural riding.

Robert Seguin is the new executive director of the George Morris Centre, an independent agriculture think-tank based in Guelph, Ont. He brings a wealth of public sector experience to the job, having worked with the Ontario Ministries of Agriculture,

Food and Rural Affairs, and Economic Development and Trade, the Cabinet Office — Intergovernmental Affairs, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. His expertise is in the area of economic development, and implementing public policy.

Three Canadians sat in on the first Young Ranchers Round Table as part of the Five Nations Beef Alliance meetings and the International Livestock Congress USA last month in Denver. The round table gives young ranchers between the ages of 27 and 32 a chance to meet with other future industry leaders from Australia, U.S., Mexico and Argentina, the other alliance countries. Canada’s representatives were Adam Moseson and Jill Harvie from Alberta and Jess Parsonage from Saskatchewan.

Ottawa and Saskatchewan have put up $1 million to establish a Saskatoon office of the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and hire three fieldmen to help producers adopt age verification and other traceability initiatives. The three reps are: Dee Valstar, Yorkton, 306-621-0508; Darren Steinley, Swift Current, 306-741-4409; Brian Anderson, Saskatoon, 306-717-2151.

Dawn Farrell, the chief operating officer of TransAlta Corporation has been appointed to the Calgary Stampede’s board of directors.

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