The Alberta Barley Commission (ABC) and the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) announced the preliminary results of two plebiscites where a majority of eligible producers voted in favour of amalgamating the commissions.
The preliminary results from each plebiscite was 89 per cent of barley farmers and 88 per cent of wheat farmers in support of forming one commission. A total of 1,569 votes were cast over the month of October in both plebiscites – 606 from barley voters and 963 from wheat voters. Both plebiscites saw a 6.1 per cent participation rate from eligible voters.
Over the month of October, the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council (Marketing Council), in collaboration with third-party election advisor MNP and the two commissions, held two plebiscites for wheat and barley farmers. Voting was conducted online or by telephone.
“A clear direction was provided by both wheat and barley farmers on the preferred path forward for the organizations,” said Tara Sawyer, chair for ABC. “We look forward to informing our farmers on the next steps in the process at our winter meetings.”
The plebiscite results remain preliminary for 15 business days when the time to contest has expired. Barley and wheat farmers can expect an update on the next steps in the process to form a single crop commission at the six regional meetings held throughout the province this November and at each commission’s Annual General Meeting held in December for ABC and late January for AWC.
“This process has been five years in the making, complete with striking of a sub-committee comprised of both wheat and barley farmers, formal consultations with farmer stakeholders and culminating with two plebiscites,” said Greg Sears, AWC chair. “Both commissions have done their due diligence to ensure this is the right direction for our members and are eager to engage farmers on the path forward.”
Farmers interested in attending one of the commissions’ winter meetings can learn more and find the meeting in their region at the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions’ website event page.
To learn more about the plebiscites and member consultations held in 2021, farmers can visit the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions’ website.