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Alberta Beef Producers To Undergo Some Big Changes

The Alberta Beef Producer’s are in the beginning stages of a makeover to their structure after the Province’s beef industry representatives met up in Calgary this week.
The Beef Producers held their Annual General Meeting over a couple of days this week, passing a number of resolutions, including a move from it’s nine zones to five.
ABP Chair, Kelly Smith-Fraser, says Stats Canada shows there's 18,000 beef producers in the province, but the structure was set years ago when they represented 30,000.
“So recognizing the fact that there's less producers in Alberta, with the increase in technology we're able to reach producers more readily, easier, and with better with communications methods, we could reduce to five zones.
It was also decided during the AGM to move away from the traditional fall meeting format with three shorter evening meetings in each zone to one, big day event in each zone.
Smith-Fraser admits there's concern about producer engagement, but says the onus falls on them to make sure the day has valuable presentations for producers to invest in themselves and their operations.
She says the day would include updates from Alberta Beef Producers' staff and partner organizations such as the Canadian Cattlemen's Association, Canada Beef, and the Beef Cattle Research Council.
"That way it would be a full day with not only learning about the industry, but an education component for producers to be able to utilize on their farms."
In the meantime, they also moved to have 12 Directors elected at large by the entire delegate body during the meeting, with at least one director from each zone.
Smith-Fraser says under the current structure, they have five delegates and one Cattle Feeder Council representative in each zone, totaling 54 delegates.
She says under the new five zone structure, there will be just 35 delegates, but an increase to seven delegates per zone.
The provincial organization has been trying to tighten it’s belt after the results of last year’s plebiscite where producers to keep their check-off dollars refundable.
Smith-Fraser, says it wasn't the results they were hoping for.
"We recognize that there's so much more that the organization needs to be doing, but we're doing it with less funds," She explained. "We're looking at all different sorts of measures to figure out how to tighten our belts."
It was also voted the Cow Calf Council and Cattle Feeder Council be dissolved.
Smith-Fraser says the move was meant to eliminate any overlapping and save costs, as many of the producer representatives are already cow-calf producers and they've developed a great working relationship with the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association.
Considering Alberta Beef Producers’ desire to be more fiscally responsible with their check-off dollars, a resolution was also discussed to eliminate the Semi-Annual Meeting.
When it came down to the decision, it was voted to postpone the resolution vote, however the motion was carried to pass the resolution to have the Annual General Meeting coincide with the Alberta Beef Industry Conference in the Spring in Red Deer.
A spokesperson with Alberta Beef Producers says the organization will have the changes to regulations and by-laws drafted for approval by the marketing council and government.
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