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18/ January / 2019



Producers explore and debate changes facing agriculture at AFA’s AGM



Lacombe, Alberta (January 18, 2019) – Proposed royalties on farm-saved seed took center stage at the Alberta Federation of Agriculture (AFA) Annual General Meeting in Leduc yesterday, as members discussed a range of policy issues and made their voices heard.


The one-day AGM in Leduc touched on many topics important to Alberta producers. These included grain transportation, carbon sequestering, public trust and farm labour, with a special focus on new proposed varietal funding models for farm-saved seed.


“This issue of royalties on seed is one our organization has worked on for years, but new changes have moved it into the spotlight recently,” says AFA President Lynn Jacobson, who farms near Enchant. “At the meeting, we brought in different presenters to help explain what the changes are, how the current options were arrived at and what’s next for this issue.”


Jacobson is referring to proposals from the federal government, in conjunction with the seed industry and the Grains Roundtable, for a royalty on farm-saved seed. To date, two options – an end-point royalty or a trailing royalty – have been suggested. Attendees at the AFA AGM heard from Holly Mayer with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Todd Hydra with SeCan, Dr. Richard Gray with University of Saskatchewan and Kevin Bender, Chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission.


“We felt this issue needed more consultation with producers,” says Jacobson. “Today, we heard that there have been no final decisions made on these proposed options for farm-saved seed, and that producers can still make sure their voice is heard on this issue. That’s exactly why we planned to have this in-depth discussion at our AGM today – so our farm members have a say in policy that is being developed.”


In addition to speaker presentations on farm policy, attendees heard from Alberta’s Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Hon. Oneil Carlier. He provided producers with a provincial update, then met with Lakeland College agricultural students for a break out question-and-answer ‘bear pit’ session.


The AGM is also a time for AFA members to propose, debate and vote on resolutions dealing with issues that affect Alberta farm producers. During the AGM’s Thursday session, members passed resolutions regarding a commitment to maintaining Farmers’ Privilege for seed, looking at alternative proposals for funding varietal research, advocating for compensation to producers for historical carbon sequestering, renewed funding for a tree nursery program and development of a standardized Canadian grain contract.


AFA delegates also re-confirmed the organization’s Board of Directors for another year, with a mandate to continue their engagement in vital policy advocacy alongside Canada’s provincial and national farm organizations on matters such as agricultural plastics recycling, farm labour solutions and more.

“Today’s productive meeting shows the agriculture policy work this organization does is very important in making sure that producers have a voice in policy decisions,” says Jacobson. “Rapid change is occurring in agriculture in this province. AFA’s Board and Executive will do our best to continue raising the awareness of these issues and challenges for Alberta producers.”




For More information, please contact:

(Mr.) Lynn Jacobson, President at 403-894-5208

Keith Degenhardt, 1st Vice-President at 780-856-2383



Alberta Federation of Agriculture is Alberta's largest producer funded general farm organization. Whenever decisions are being made that affect the province's agricultural industry, we're there, providing an effective voice for Alberta's farmers. For more information on AFA, please visit our website at: www.afaonline.ca