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AG Notes

CIGI elects newboard members

Trent Rude of Viterra was recently elected chair of the Canadian International Grains Institute’s board of directors.

Drew Baker from the Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association was elected as vice-chair, and Hannah Konschuh from the Alberta Wheat Commission was elected secretary.

Also newly elected to the board was Carsten Bredin from Richardson International, Joseph Christiansen from Cargill Canada and Dean McQueen from Viterra Inc.

MBFI board roster announced

The Manitoba Beef and Forages Initiatives recently announced its 2019-20 elected board of directors.

Tracy Gilson from the University of Manitoba was elected chair.

Last year, she joined the board as an appointee of Manitoba Agriculture and will be the first non-Manitoba Beef Producer director to lead the organization’s board.

Larry Wegner of Manitoba Beef Producers is the new vice-chair.

Tyler Fulton from Manitoba Beef Producers will serve as treasurer, and MBFI general manager Mary-Jane Orr is secretary of the executive.

Other board members include Kristine Tapley of Ducks Unlimited the Canada, Darren Chapman of the Manitoba Forage and Grasslands Association, and Lawrence Knockaert and Don McIntyre, beef producers at large.

Cannabis course offered

NorQuest College has launched its cannabis trimming and production course.

It’s designed to provide the skills needed to start a career in the industry.

The online course features interactive content, expert interviews, and demonstrations.

It will also offer hands-on practical training at designated local licensed producers beginning this fall.

It is targeted to anyone who might be interested in transitioning to a new career.

The college is working with local innovators and experts to ensure that Alberta’s cannabis industry has access to skilled and educated workers in the fast paced and highly regulated industry.

More information can be found at

Animal welfare council makes appointment

René Roy has been appointed industry co-chair of the National Farmed Animal Health and Welfare Council.

Roy has been a director on the council for two years and will join Hélène Trépanier, the NFAHW Council government co-chair, in leading the council.

He has a PhD and is a pork, dairy and maple syrup producer.

Roy is also second vice-chair of the Canadian Pork Council, president of Éleveurs de Porcs de la Beauce and a member of the steering committee of the Quebec Animal Health and Welfare Strategy.

4-H honours volunteers

Six 4-H Ontario volunteers have received the 2019 Outstanding New 4-H Ontario Club Leader Award.

The award recognizes club leaders who have volunteered with 4-H for less than three years and are doing outstanding things for the youth in their clubs. One winner is selected from each region

The 2019 winners are: Aimee Flikweert of region 1 — Manitoulin; Bonnie Bergeron of region 2 — Russell; Cheryl Crowe of region 3 — Kawartha Lakes Haliburton; Todd Radigan of region 4 — Waterloo; Amanda Yule of region 5 — Perth; and Christine Brekelmans of region 6 — Oxford.

Alberta explores new markets

Six Alberta companies exhibited at recent events Food and Hotel Vietnam and Canada Food Expo in the Philippines in April.

The mission, led by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, also included market overview and briefings, retail store tours, company outreach and networking events. Alberta participants made new sales, met established agents and distributors and developed relationships with new and existing buyers, conducting market research and networking with other participating Canadian companies.

The participants reported making 96 new sales leads, $3.4 million in estimated future sales.

They also plan to develop or adapt nine new products as a direct result of their participation in this trade mission.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership came into force between in January. Canada and Vietnam are both members.

It’s expected that Canadian food and beverage exporters will achieve improved competitiveness through an immediate reduction on import tariffs on a range of food and beverage products and improved long-term market access conditions in Vietnam.

With a large population, the Philippines’ key economic growth drivers include an expanding middle class as well as fast growing retail, food service and food processing industries.

Custom work calculated

Producers can use the machinery cost calculator to determine a base rate specific for their operation.

Historically, the same size of the custom rates survey have been too broad to be meaningful to producers wanting to arrive at rates for their operations.

The machinery cost calculator allows a producer to take into consideration individual factors and arrive at a base rate specific to their operation.

That base rate can be adjusted to allow for such items as a good neighbour rate, higher fuel costs, differing labour rates or even a profit margin for full time custom operators.

Use the farm machinery cost calculator and then go to the Alberta Agriculture webpage, click on Agriculture decision making tools to find more custom calculators.

Wine and grape industry receives funding

The federal government is investing more than $2.3 million to the Canadian Grapevine Certification Network to create a clean plant network of grapevines in Canada that are certified, virus-free and which will ensure the long-term viability of the Canadian grape and wine sectors.

The not-for-profit organization will catalogue and assess existing samples from nurseries and grape growers across the country. A database will then be used to trace back every vine produced through this program and planted in a grower’s vineyard back to the mother plants, which will ensure disease-free grapevines in Canada.

Canada’s wine industry generates revenues of $1.2 billion and employs more than 5,600 people. Exports of wine in 2016 equalled $133.6 million.

2019 produce champ named

The Canadian Produce Marketing Association has named Member of Parliament Wayne Easter (from the riding of Malpeque, P.E.I.) as it 2019 produce champion.

The award is given to one or more members of parliament or Senators who have supported the produce industry and effective at bringing industry issues to the forefront on Parliament Hill.

ATB makes donation to Olds College

ATB (Alberta Treasury Branches) Financial has committed $250,000 to support agriculture technology research and education at Olds College in Alberta.

The five-year financial commitment will be used to expand the college’s high-tech smart farm, and sponsor AgSmart, a two-day ag technology expo taking place Aug. 13-14 at the college.

The Smart Farm uses the latest technologies aimed at improving productivity, while efficiently and sustainably using resources.

Working with industry partners, local producers and students, it provides research that is evolving and shaping future agriculture practices.

Innovation in berries receives funding

The federal government is investing up to $3.6 million to the Lower Mainland Horticultural Improvement Association to improve efficiency in production and quality of berries.

This is expected to enhance the industry’s ability to adapt to a changing climate and improve clean growing practices through sustainable management of disease and pests.

The project will build on previous applied research and enhance co-operation between berry producers and other disciplines including breeding, pathology, horticultural management and entomology.

Chicken innovation award nominees sought

Chicken Farmers of Ontario has launched the application process for its second Ontario Chicken Innovation Award.

The award is part of the organization’s commitment to bring new, innovative products to market to meet consumer needs.

This year, CFO has millions of kilograms of chicken available for successful applicants.

The award is the first-of-its-kind in the chicken industry, recognizing top consumer-facing innovations and providing an additional supply of chicken to enable that innovation and accelerate growth.

The first recipient was Grand River Foods and Maple Lodge Farms. The two companies collaborated to develop a new, frozen, cooked, smoked chicken product that provides convenience and addresses current flavour trends.

The program is open to primary processors, further processors, retailers, food service and restaurant companies in Canada.

Four factors are considered: historical sales/demand, projected future sales/demand, innovation/quality of ideas and economic value.

Applications are available at and will be accepted until Sept. 13.


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