Farmers have until Nov. 1 at noon to cast a vote
By Diego Flammini
Alberta wheat and barley farmers only have about one week left to vote on a potential merger.
“There’s still time to cast your vote and make your voice heard as to whether or not you support the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) and Alberta Barley amalgamating into a single crop commission,” the organizations said in a joint statement.
Barley and wheat producers have until Nov. 1 at noon to vote.
Voting can be completed online or by phone.
Farmers who haven’t received a letter and PIN allowing them to cast a ballot should call 1-844-807-5762 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voting is open to farmers who have paid a levy on wheat or barley sales from Jan. 1, 2020, to April 30, 2022.
A farmer who produces both crops can vote twice – one for each crop organization.
If both votes result in support of amalgamation, new regulations will be created for the changes to take effect.
Both crop commissions, the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council and the provincial government must approve the changes.
If either of the crop commissions vote against amalgamation, the current structure will not change.
The journey towards amalgamation between the two crop organizations began in 2017.
In September of that year, Tom Steve, general manager of AWC, became interim general manager of Alberta Barley for a four-month trial period to determine if amalgamation is viable.
This decision came after board members recognized multiple areas of overlap between AWC and Alberta Barley.
In November 2018 at the AWC meeting in Strathmore, members passed a resolution calling for Alberta Barley to explore a formal merger.
In October and November 2021, 71 per cent of polled barley and wheat farmers voted in favour of the idea of amalgamation.
In December 2021 and January 2022, respectively, both crop organizations passed a motion to conduct a plebiscite about a merger.