In a much closer vote than was expected, members of the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) and the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association (ACFA) voted down a change in the current provincial beef check-off.
The vote — which was held between Oct. 19 and Nov. 27 — proposed moving away from the present system, which sees around $2.2 million refunded back to eligible producers annually, over to a fully non-refundable check-off that would include a new industry development and research fund.
However, despite support from both the executives of ABP and ACFA, the move was defeated by a count of 51 to 49 per cent — or 962 to 908 votes.
ABP board chair Charlie Christie was disappointed by both the result and with the low voter turn out.
“We would have liked to see more producers vote, but we appreciate the interest and effort of those who did,” he stated in a press release Dec. 3.
Ryan Kasko, ACFA board chair, added his unhappiness with the result and the number who actually voted.
However, he did state in a release, “We will continue to work hard to strengthen industry collaboration and create efficiencies regardless of the outcome.”
The plebiscite results remain unofficial until Dec. 11, the deadline for possible challenges. However, both the ABP and ACFA have stated they will abide by the outcome.