Take your seat at the table
Do you have an interest in wheat or barley genetics and agronomy research, agricultural policy, extension, market development, communications or governance? Your ideas are exactly what we need to drive agriculture forward. The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions are farmer-driven organizations that work on behalf of farmers to keep the industry moving along the highway of success. As the commissions currently operate as separate organizations, each has its own board of directors. The Alberta Barley board of directors is constituted by nine barley farmers while the Alberta Wheat Commission’s board of directors is composed of eleven wheat farmers. Many heads are indeed better than one. Diverse opinions and thoughts are important for each board in navigating a true collective path forward.
Through department committees, board meetings and involvement with national organizations, all board members are given opportunities to discuss and review current priorities coming from each department.
Committees are composed of directors, delegates or regional representatives and staff. Each committee is chaired by a director. Committees are mandated by each board to examine questions that have previously been discussed at board level and to operate within the budget set by the board in the previous term. Committees fulfill their mandates by advising management on questions relating to the operations of each commission and in filtering new items and recommendations to be brought to the board table for discussion or decision.
As an example, as part of the budgeting process the communications and events committee discusses the cost and benefits of an event like the Prairie Cereals Summit and makes a recommendation to the board on whether the organization should or should not move forward with the event. In the case of moving forward, the committee will provide an outlined budget. At the board level, table directors listen to the recommendation from the committee and offer their thoughts on the merits of the event and the budget based on the information provided. The board then has an opportunity to accept or reject the committee recommendation, or pass a modified position. After the board has made a decision, management and staff act on that decision to implement the board direction and report back to the committee.
Once the board has made a decision, considering all of the information available and having provided an opportunity for each board member to provide feedback, the board votes on a motion. If the motion passes it is the collective decision of the board. All members provide full support for that decision based on the notion that many heads collectively arrive at a better decision than one. The board also governs the general manager who directs the management and staff to fulfill the board decision.
Each seat and voice contributing at the table drives the wheat and barley industries forward and shapes the present and future advances of agriculture on provincial and national levels. It is an important and rewarding responsibility. The Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions perform best when many diverse voices are heard and everyone plays a role in working on behalf of wheat and barley growers to drive towards the goal. Learn more about the fall elections at albertawheatbarley.com.