Forage industry stakeholders in Alberta have launched a new group to represent their issues and interests to government and funding agencies.
The Alberta Forage Industry Network (AFIN) aims “to bring issues of importance regarding economic and environmental impact of forages to the attention of funding bodies and policy-makers throughout the province,” the group said in a release.
At its first general meeting Feb. 27, AFIN elected Irricana-area rancher Doug Wray as its first chairman. Wray, the group said, “has long been behind the charge to give forages the profile he feels (the industry) needs and deserves.”
“Forage producers in this province manage more than 11 million hectares of land in forage, managed range and bush,” said Wray. “It is our goal to bring together representatives from across a very diverse industry, and create awareness of the importance of forages for producers and consumers alike.”
Membership in AFIN is to be open to anyone involved in forages, including producers, industry representatives, post-secondary institutions and local ag and forage associations, the group said.
“By coming together under one banner, we can elevate the profile of forages in Alberta and bring attention to the need for expanded research and extension,” said Wray, a former co-chair of the Western Forage/Beef Group advisory committee and a director of the Foothills Forage Association.
The hub for AFIN members is expected to be its website, which hasn’t yet been launched.
The new site, AFIN said, is to include information on forage news and events, a discussion board and links to organizations involved in forage research and extension.