Central Alberta man back at helm of Alberta Milk

A Ponoka dairy farmer has returned to lead the province’s producer organization Alberta Milk.

Ponoka dairy farmer Tom Kootsra returns to the helm as chairperson for Alberta Milk.

A local dairy farmer has returned to lead the province’s producer organization.

Tom Kootstra, who operates the 145 animal operation, Stradow Farms near Ponoka, was selected as the chairman of Alberta Milk back in November following a mandatory one year break from the job. He served as board chairman of the non-profit farmer-driven producer and marketing group from 2013 to 2015.

Kootstra has been on the board for nine years and expects 2017 to be an important year for dairy farmers in Alberta and Canada.

“As most know, milk is a supply-managed commodity and with demand remaining steady there isn’t much volatility in the market. That said, there remains growth especially for high fat dairy content products that consumers now seem to prefer,” Kootstra said in an interview last month.

And that market growth may continue as the national ingredient strategy an agreement between the Dairy Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Dairy Commission is slated to be formalized with potential implementation next month. The tentative deal was reached back in July with Canada’s processing industry, but negotiations on the specifics have been ongoing.

“It’s something we have been working on for two years and if all goes well, it can implemented in February,” he said.

“The hope is it will modernize the industry through a significant change in the structure going forward.”

The one big change is in how products are priced more competitively to encourage more use of Canadian ingredients by Canadian processors. While specific details haven’t been released, the hope is the deal will also better harmonize policies across the country.

“Currently, a number of processors import milk protein concentrate and this deal should mean more ‘Canadian’ products. As well, it should (build) the confidence the industry has in its domestic product,” explained Kootstra.

“However, it is entirely possible this could be challenged by Canada’s various trade partners and, while that vulnerability is one risk of this deal, it’s one everyone feels they need to take.”

In addition to the change at the top, Alberta Milk has seen one other change to the board’s executive with Gezinus Martens stepping into the role as second vice chairman.


Just Posted

WATCH: Learn to Curl session tries to take advantage of interest in Ponoka’s curling

Ponoka Curling Club starts Learn to Curl series in effort to attract new participants

Sentencing postponed in Castor triple homicide

Jason Klaus and Josh Frank will appear in court again Feb. 14th

Ponoka FCSS earns stellar home care certification

Accreditation results came in as that of ‘Exemplary Standing”

Wetaskiwin RCMP looking for missing 16-year-old

Wetaskiwin RCMP say Hailey Saskatchewan was last seen Jan. 16 near Boston Pizza

Country Gardens owner Carmen Sim invited to international horticultural show

Located between Ponoka and Bashaw, the greenhouse owner is taking in a lifetime trip

Tsunami warnings 101: Canada

Here are some things to know about tsunami alerts in Canada and how they work

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

Man faces 48 charges in string of random Toronto shootings

The string of unprovoked shootings began Jan.9, say police

‘Shape of Water’ producer, Christopher Plummer among Canadian Oscar nominees

Guillermo del Toro film about merman romance earns 13 nominations

Canada, TPP agrees to revised deal without the United States

Canada and the remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement

Rogers Media cuts ties with Vice Canada

Rogers Media and Vice Canada are ending their three-year-old partnership, pulling Viceland TV channel off the air

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Most Read