The 10-person group will provide the provincial government with industry advice and recommendations
By Diego Flammini
A group of 10 representatives from the agricultural, agri-food and academic sectors make up Alberta’s new Agriculture Industry Advisory Committee.
The committee will act as “Champions of Agriculture” and provide Alberta Agriculture and Forestry with advice and recommendations on issues and priorities including consumer confidence and debunking industry myths.
“Alberta has a hard-earned reputation around the world for healthy, safe and reliable agriculture products,” Devin Dreeshen, Alberta’s minister of agriculture and forestry, said in a May 5 statement. “Our agriculture industry is well placed to meet the growing demand and compete with constant innovation.”
One of the producers on the committee is Jill Harvie, the owner/operator of Harvie Ranching in Olds, Alta.
She is one of the committee’s co-chairs and looks forward to working with the other members to help celebrate the industry.
Minister Dreeshen “really wants us to work towards a common voice to highlight agriculture here at home and around the world,” Harvie told Farms.com. “Much of the discussion thus far has been getting the committee set up and understanding what our tasks will be.”
Agriculture in Alberta employs more than 75,000 people and generates more than $11.6 billion in annual export sales.
“It’s important we don’t lose sight of that,” Harvie said. “At times I think the message of how the food supply chain works has been somewhat lost in the shuffle.”
The committee will provide opportunities for discussions with the public about how important the industry is to the province as a global trading partner and as a local food resource, she said.
The other committee members are:
- Nichole Neubauer – co-chair and owner/operator of Neubauer Farms
- Allison Ammeter – farmer and chair of the Plant Protein Alliance of Alberta
- David Colwell – president and CEO of JBS Foods Canada
- Jeff Fitzpatrick-Stilwell – sustainability and agriculture lead at McDonald’s Canada
- Bob Lowe – president of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association
- Jean-Marc Ruest – senior vice-president, corporate affairs and general counsel at Richardson International Limited
- John Simpson, chair of CANA group of companies and owner/operator of Simpson Ranching
- Baljit Singh – dean, faculty of veterinary medicine at the University of Calgary
- Gary Stanford – farmer and past-chair of Alberta Wheat Commission