Getting producers to serve on farm groups can sometimes be a challenge — but those who do typically say it’s been a great experience.
And that includes outgoing Alberta Barley chair Dave Bishop.
“We all have term limits and my term is up,” said Bishop, who farms near Barons. “It’s been a bit of a ride, and it’s quite enjoyable. I’ve met a lot of great people. I’ve learned a lot about what goes on in farm policy, marketing and research — everything that goes along with commissions.”
Bishop is one of three outgoing Alberta Barley directors. He said there was no trouble in finding candidates but all three producers who put their name forward for the open spots were acclaimed.
Sean Stanford from Magrath will replace Bishop as the director for Region 1 while Roy Newman from Blackie replaces Jeff Nielsen in Region 2. Bernie Klammer from Vegreville was acclaimed for a director-at-large position replacing Terry James.
Alberta Wheat also had its four open director spots filled by acclamation. In Region 4, chair Todd Hames was acclaimed and was joined by new director Shawn Jacula from Vermilion, who replaces John Wozniak. In Region 2, vice-chair Hannah Konschuh from Cluny and Justin Bell from Rosebud were re-elected by acclamation as was regional representative Devin Hartzler from Didsbury. There are still two representatives needed in Region 2 and three in Region 4.
Alberta Barley has 23 delegate positions open in its six regions. All delegate positions will be nominated at regional meetings.
Serving as a delegate is a rewarding experience and allows producers to understand the work done by commissions, said Bishop.
“It’s a great way to get your feet wet and learn what goes on in the commission world,” he said.
And bringing in new people is vital to the functioning of organizations representing farmers, he added.
Bishop’s successor will be chosen at the Prairie Cereals Summit in Banff next month.
“I’m a firm believer in change,” said Bishop. “It’s time for someone to have the reins of it and lead it to wherever barley ends up going.”
The Prairie Cereals Summit, which Alberta Barley is co-hosting with Alberta Wheat, will be both an in-person and virtual event. The 95 in-person spots have sold out, said Bishop.
Whether it goes ahead will depend on how the COVID-19 situation plays out, and organizers will follow Alberta Health Services’ recommendations, he added.
“We have hopes we can pull it off, but we’ve got a Plan B in case we can’t,” he said Nov. 5. “Right now, I’d have to say it’s 50/50 to hold it, because most of the province has been exploding with cases going up. I’m just waiting to see what happens.”