ABP changes leadership at annual meeting

Melanie Wowk of Beauvallon, Alta., is the new chair of Alberta Beef Producers. Wowk, the former vice-chair, was elected to the executive on March 4 at the ABP annual meeting, held virtually. She replaces former chair Kelly Smith-Fraser in the role.

Vice-chair is Jason Hale of Bassano and Brodie Haugan of Orion is finance chair.

The organization altered its director structure this year, moving to five zones from nine. A 35-member delegate body was named in January.

The directors for 2021 are:

Southeast zone: Darren Bevins, Brodie Haugen, Kent Holowath, Fred Lozeman, Jason Hale

Central zone: Colin Campbell, Rod Carlyon

Southwest zone: Sheila Hilmer, Chris Israelson, Fred Lozeman, Lee Irvine

Northwest zone: Mike Nadeau

Northeast zone: Melanie Wowk

Irvine and delegate Craig Lehr were previously selected as representatives to the Beef Cattle Research Council. Former ABP chairs Charlie Christie and Doug Sawyer will represent Alberta on the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, along with Hilmer, Smith-Fraser and delegates George L’Heureux, Cathy Sharp and Miles Wowk.

The new chair said the ABP will continue with several projects.

“We’re going to move ahead with what we’ve been doing with our general manager (Brad Dubeau) and our new magazine and platforms that we’re bringing forth to the producers in the province. It’s something they’ve been asking for a long, long time. This is what we’ve come up with and we’re just really hoping that they find value in it and can glean a lot more information about what ABP is up to.”

Wowk said concerns about the level of communication from ABP arise at almost every fall zone meeting. The organization has launched a new magazine to address those challenges.

“So this (magazine) is our response, and I think it’s a good one. I was pretty impressed with that first issue and results of the daily ABP site on the internet. There’s daily news on there and daily articles.

“And hopefully we’ll be launching an app soon because everybody’s always got their phone on them. We’ve just tried, and this is what we came up with, and we really hope it works.”

Wowk said she hopes recent organizational changes will demonstrate the value of check-off dollars paid by cattle producers.

“We’re looking forward to a new year and we’re excited about bringing new ideas forward, and hopefully getting some more support from our producers.”

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