Press Releases

Alberta barley and wheat farmers will vote on amalgamation in October

This October, Alberta barley and wheat farmers will vote on whether Alberta Barley and the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) will formally amalgamate to form a single crop commission. Barley and wheat farmers in Alberta who have paid a levy on wheat or barley sales in the past two years, including farmers who have requested refunds, can anticipate voting information to arrive in their mailboxes in early September.

The Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council (Marketing Council), in collaboration with third-party election advisor MNP and the two commissions, will hold two plebiscites: one for barley growers, and one for wheat growers. The plebiscites will open at 12:00 p.m. on October 3, and close at 12:00 p.m. on November 1. Alberta barley and wheat farmers can expect to have a month-long period to participate in the online vote.

“We are confident the convenient online format and month-long voting period will provide farmers with increased access to cast their ballots during the busy harvest season,” says Alberta Barley chair, Tara Sawyer. “The commissions strongly encourage barley and wheat farmers to participate in the plebiscites which will determine our future.”

The commissions asked Marketing Council to hold the plebiscites in October to allow for a fulsome discussion of the results at regional meetings in November, and to determine the future course of the commissions as soon as possible.

“Since the two commissions have been operating with a joint management structure for five years, we are eager to hold the plebiscites in October so farmers can determine our future direction at this pivotal time,” says AWC chair, Greg Sears. “We encourage farmers to engage and vote in October, even if it’s from the combine.”

Additional details on the plebiscites include:

  • Farmers who grow both barley and wheat crops will have two votes (one for each crop)
  • Farming corporations, cooperatives or partnerships will have one vote on behalf of their legal entity
  • Alberta barley and wheat farmers who have remitted check-off in the past two years, including those who have requested refunds, are eligible to vote
  • During the first week of September, farmers will receive a letter from Marketing Council and MNP with more information on the amalgamation plebiscites
  • During the first week of October, farmers will receive a second letter that includes a voting PIN – their unique identifier to cast their vote(s) via the online voting platform
  • Farmers who grow both wheat and barley crops will only receive one letter from Marketing Council and MNP and one voting PIN, but will be able to submit one vote for each crop
  • Eligible growers who do not receive their plebiscite information by mail in early September should contact Marketing Council at 780-427-2164 or af.marketingcouncil@gov.ab.ca. The deadline to register to vote is September 16, 2022

Alberta barley and wheat farmers gave their approval for the commissions to proceed with amalgamation plebiscites via formal motions at each commission’s annual general meeting during the 2021-2022 meeting season.

To learn more about the plebiscites and the member consultations held in 2021, farmers can visit the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions’ website.

Media Contact:

Harley Groeneveld
Marketing Communications Specialist
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions
hgroeneveld@albertawheatbarley.com
403-219-7906

For any other inquiries, please contact:

Tom Steve
General Manager
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions
tsteve@albertawheatbarley.com
403-219-7900

Syeda Khurram
Chief Operating Officer
Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions
skhurram@albertawheatbarley.com
403-219-6264