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Minister Dreeshen on Alta. farm safety tour

Minister Dreeshen on Alta. farm safety tour

Farmers are providing input about farm safety legislation

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Alberta’s ag minister is touring the province to learn producers’ concerns about farm safety legislation.

Devin Dreeshen began visiting with farmers on July 25 during his Farm Freedom and Safety Act Consultation tour. He will continue these conversations until Sept. 19.

The consultations are part of the conservative government’s promise to engage with farmers to create an alternative to Bill 6. The former NDP government passed this legislation in 2016.

“Farmers are basically really happy that they are able to have their say on what the repeal and replacement of the former Bill 6 will actually be,” Minister Dreeshen said during a tour event Friday, Drumheller Online reported. “It has been really positive so far.”

Schedule of Minister Dreeshen's visits.
Alberta Wheat photo

Other events are scheduled for Tues., Aug. 6 at the Westlock Hazel Bluff Community Hall from 10 a.m. to noon, Mon., Aug. 19 at the Okotoks Ag Society from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Weds., Aug. 21 at the Lethbridge Holiday Inn Express from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Alberta farmers want a farm safety bill that treats agriculture uniquely.

The industry should have rules to fit its subtleties, said Charlie Christie, the chair of Alberta Beef Producers.

“We would like to see a specific occupational health and safety (OHS) code of practice that’s unique to agriculture and recognizes that agriculture is completely different from any other industry,” he told “Some of the stuff in the current OHS doesn’t fit ag very well. It’s a big enough industry to develop its own code of practice with strong education and awareness components.”

The provincial government plans to introduce its version of a farm safety bill when the legislature resumes in October.

The bill will require employers to maintain workplace insurance for ag workers but give them the option to choose between a private provider or the Workers Compensation Board (WCB).

Farm employers should educate themselves about the pros and cons of private and public insurance, said Humphrey Banack, a producer from Camrose, Alta.

“WCB is no-fault insurance,” he told “Once an employee starts the WCB process, he or she can’t come back at you with a personal lawsuit. I think that’s a big part of the equation that isn’t being explained.”

Farmers unable to attend one of Minister Dreeshen’s meetings can submit their thoughts through an online survey until Aug. 31.

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Finding her path back to the Swine Industry each time with Dr. Miriam Martin.

Video: Finding her path back to the Swine Industry each time with Dr. Miriam Martin.

Dr. Miriam Martin is Director of Animal Health and Welfare from the North American Meat Institute.

We discuss how she grew up in Swine Production on a small Hog Farm in Missouri. We discuss her enhanced career path, and exciting things in store at her job at NAMI. We discuss her mentor Temple Grandin, and her time at Colorado and Kansas State University and learning about Swine behaviour and pain research. We discuss ASF preparedness, Safeguarding Animal Health and finally if we need to define a leadership strategy or outside box approach to move the Swine Industry forward.

About Our Guest Dr. Miriam S. Martin grew up on a ranch in Meadville, Missouri. Miriam completed he undergraduate degree in animal science at the University of Missouri where she discovered her passion for animal welfare. She earned a Masters in livestock behavior and welfare in Temple Grandin’s group at Colorado State University before enrolling in a Doctoral program at Kansas State University in August 2018. Miriam is the first recipient of the FFAR Fellowship in the history of Kansas State University. Dr. Martin’s doctoral studies focused on investigating pain and analgesic strategies in food animals. These studies resulted in the publication of 8 first author papers and 5 co-author publications. Miriam served as the Midwest ASAS Graduate Director and the CVM GSA Vice President. She is also the recipient of a 2022 ASAS Midwest Young Scholars Award. Dr. Martin successfully defended her Ph.D. on October 2021 and she currently serves as the Director of Animal Health and Welfare for the North American Meat Institute.


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