Alberta recruits new board for AFSC


Alberta’s provincial government has named a new board of directors to its farm financing and crop insurance agency, to replace the board it fired last year.

Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier on Thursday announced the appointment of a new eight-member board for the provincial Agriculture Financial Services Corp., (AFSC), which has been handled by an interim board since last summer.

The previous board of directors was dismissed in June after the province’s chief internal auditor filed a report raising concerns about oversight of senior executive expenses and procurement practices at AFSC, mainly during the period from 2011 through 2015.

Three unnamed senior AFSC executives were also “relieved from active duty,” the province said at the time.

“As a board, our priority is to make sure AFSC management continues to keep pace with the evolving needs of agribusiness and conducts its operations in a transparent and accountable manner that reflects the expectations of Albertans,” Jennifer Wood, the new board’s chair, said in a release Thursday.

Wood is an Edmonton-based agrologist, partner in a private equity holding company focused on agribusiness, and co-operator of her family’s cattle ranch. She has 15 years of board experience in a “variety of roles, across sectors,” the province said.

Directors on the new board also include:

  • Jerry Bouma, an agrifood management consultant in Edmonton;
  • Gordon Cove, the Red Deer-based former CEO of the province’s now-dissolved Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA);
  • ag coach and farmer Peter Galloway of Fort Saskatchewan;
  • Jo-Ann Hall, a former provincial assistant deputy agriculture minister, from Stony Plain;
  • Harvey Hagman, president of Hagman Cattle Co., at Mayerthorpe;
  • chartered professional accountant Anna Harder of Camrose; and
  • Kiren Singh of Canmore, a financial executive with background in the energy and ag sectors.

In the new board members’ biographies, the province noted most of them also come to the table with years of board governance experience.

“The new board will provide essential oversight to help ensure that AFSC’s programs and services are delivered effectively and continue to meet the needs of rural Alberta,” Carlier said.

All eight new board members were chosen through an open recruitment process, the province emphasized in its release. — Network

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