All-wheat commission finds majority support

A survey conducted by the Alberta All-Wheat Commission Steering Committee has found more than 80 per cent support for the proposed

A survey conducted by the Alberta All-Wheat Commission Steering Committee has found more than 80 per cent support for the proposed Alberta Wheat Commission.

The steering committee conducted the survey between November 2011 and April 2012, at a variety of industry events and through its website (albertawheat.ca). Of the 483 people who responded, 82 per cent expressed support for the proposed commission; 14.5 per cent said they were unsure; and 3.5 per cent said they did not support forming a new commission.

Respondents represented six per cent of the estimated 8,000 wheat producers in the province and 9.6 per cent of Alberta’s 6.6 million acres of wheat production.

“Our steering commission members attended dozens of agricultural events across the province to speak to producers about the new commission,” says Lynn Jacobson, steering committee co-chair. “They clearly valued the plans we put forward and realized the benefits they would generate.”

The committee’s next steps will be to present its findings and plans to the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council and Verlyn Olsen, minister of agriculture and rural development.

“Once marketing council and the minister approve of our plans, we will work to launch the Alberta Wheat Commission on Aug. 1,” said steering committee co-chair Kent Erickson.

The new commission would represent the producers of all nine classes of wheat now grown in Alberta, including winter wheat and soft white wheat, currently represented by the Alberta Winter Wheat Producers Commission and the Alberta Soft White Wheat Producers Commission, respectively. Members of those two organizations have already voted to fold their operations into the new commission.

“Alberta’s wheat producers see the value of working together and creating a clear vision for wheat production in the future,” Erickson said.

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