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Amalgamation Plebiscite

Amalgamation Plebiscites for Barley and Wheat Farmers - October 2022

As announced on August 25, 2022, Alberta Barley and the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) are holding two plebiscites during the month of October for farmers to determine the future of the organizations. Alberta barley and wheat farmers will be asked to vote on whether they support or do not support Alberta Barley and AWC formally amalgamating to form a single crop commission.

In collaboration with Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council (Marketing Council) and the third-party election advisor, MNP, there are two plebiscites being held: one for barley growers, and one for wheat growers. Since the two commissions are established via separate Plan Regulations under the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act and are separate legal entities, two plebiscites are required.

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, will receive voting information to their mailboxes in early September. Despite the busy harvest season, Alberta barley and wheat farmers will have a month-long period during October to participate in the online vote. The commissions chose to hold the plebiscites in October to allow for a fulsome discussion of the results at regional meetings in November.

What farmers need to know about the plebiscites

Eligibility:

- Alberta barley and wheat farmers who have remitted check-off between January 1, 2020 to April 30, 2022, including those who have requested refunds, are eligible to vote

- 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. The vote will be assigned by the authorized representative as reflected in our check-off database. An “authorized representative” means a person who has the right to sign documents and/or the power to make decisions on behalf of the organization.

Timing and Deadlines: 

- During the first week of September, farmers will receive a letter from Marketing Council and MNP with more information on the amalgamation plebiscites

- In the first week of October, farmers will receive a second letter that includes a voting access and PIN – their unique identifier to cast their vote(s) via the online voting platform

- If farmers do not receive their voting information by mail in early September, the deadline to register to vote is September 16, 2022

- If you are an eligible grower and did not receive voting information, call Marketing Council contact, at 780-427-2164 or af.marketingcouncil@gov.ab.ca.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about the plebiscites? Review our frequently asked questions document to learn more!

Contact and Support

Plebiscite inquiries including voter registration for those who did not receive the information package in early September:

Marketing Council: 780-427-2164 or af.marketingcouncil@gov.ab.ca

For any other inquiries:

Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions’ general manager, Tom Steve at 403-219-7900 or tsteve@albertawheatbarley.com

Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions’ chief operating officer, Syeda Khurram at 403-219-6264 or skhurram@albertawheatbarley.com

Background

As directed by the boards of Alberta Barley and AWC, the two commissions solicited farmers’ opinions on the potential merger of the two organizations to one formal entity. Held during the fall of 2021, the consultations were an opportunity for Alberta wheat and barley farmers to contribute their input on the topic. The commissions held farmer consultations through an online survey, two online sessions in October and regional meetings in November.

During the 2021-2022 winter meeting season, Alberta farmers gave their approval for the commissions to proceed with farmer plebiscites through formal motions brought forward at each commission’s annual general meeting (AGM). Following the AGMs, the commissions received approval to conduct plebiscites with our farmer memberships from the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development, Honourable Nate Horner, along with Marketing Council.

To learn more about the consultation process in 2021, please click here.

Farmers are encouraged to subscribe to our Latest News emailing list for continual updates on the amalgamation plebiscites.

Amalgamation Consultation

To learn more about the farmer consultations conducted in 2021 on amalgamation, click here.