More ag issues for Alberta’s next government

There are a host of issues that affect farm profitability — 
here are seven key ones

More ag issues for Alberta’s next government
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The carbon tax, research funding, and farm safety are three top-of-mind issues for Alberta’s farm leaders heading into the provincial election — but they’re not the only ones.

Here’s what seven farm leaders had to say about other priorities for the next provincial government:

1. Market access

“We want to make sure that, with these new trade deals, our new provincial government will continue to work hard for us. We need a strong agricultural economy and strong Agricultural Department in the province of Alberta to work on different trade issues. I know some countries have put protectionist tariffs on some of our products, and staying competitive is important to producers.” — Gary Stanford, Alberta Wheat

2. Rail transportation

“I understand that we’re having trouble getting the pipeline built, but we really need to get it built because putting all this oil on the rails is just slowing down grain movement.” — John Guelly, Alberta Canola

3. Stick to science

“Regulatory issues are always a bit complicated and need to be straightened out. The Pest Management Regulatory Agency’s approach to neonics is a good example that needs to be approached both provincially and federally. We rely on a predictable, science-based regulatory environment to support us, and we sometimes aren’t seeing that.” — Dave Bishop, Alberta Barley

4. Pulse value adding

“Despite the fact that we’re getting a large fractionation plant in Manitoba and another in Saskatchewan, Alberta still doesn’t have anything, and I don’t know that there’s anything on the horizon. Value added has got to be a big priority, and a fractionation plant coming into Alberta would be a real help. As a producer, I’d love to see my peas fractionated in this province.” — Don Shepert, Alberta Pulse Growers

5. Grazing lease framework

“It was developed by industry to bring our grazing lease fees up to a more comparative level, but it’s never been looked at very seriously since it was proposed last spring. We’ve had very little movement on it at this point. That’s probably the No. 1 thing we need looked at after an election.” — Charlie Christie, Alberta Beef Producers

6. More dairy processing

“For the dairy industry in Alberta, processing capacity is an issue. In order for the dairy farmers of Alberta to fully realize the benefits of the market, we need to have processing expansion in the province.” — Tom Kootstra, Alberta Milk

7. Poultry promotion

“We’ve been wanting the Alberta government to make investments in Alberta-raised marketing for our poultry industry. That’s an area we’d love to see the government of Alberta invest in.” — Jason Born, Alberta Chicken Producers

About the author


Jennifer Blair

Jennifer Blair is a Red Deer-based reporter with a post-secondary education in professional writing and nearly 10 years of experience in corporate communications, policy development, and journalism. She's spent half of her career telling stories about an industry she loves for an audience she admires--the farmers who work every day to build a better agriculture industry in Alberta.



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