New board, members at first Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company AGM
November 3, 2005:
The Alberta Environmental Farm Plan Company (AEFP), the non-profit company set up to administer the voluntary Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program in the province, had changes to its board and additions to its membership at its recent annual general meeting in Red Deer.
The annual general meeting, the first in the young company’s history, was an important milestone for several reasons, says John Kolk, Picture Butte area producer and Chairman of the nine-member board.
"It was an open meeting with many industry, government, media and others in attendance. That public discussion of our progress and performance reinforces that we will operate in an open business environment."
Two new board members were elected. "This process, where board members can be elected from the floor at the annual business meeting, reinforces that we are run by producers, industry and others directly involved with building a long-term sustainable agriculture and food system," says Kolk.
Virtually all of the new corporate AEFP members were in attendance. "New members such as Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Barley Commission, Alberta Pork and Alberta Canola Producers Commission have joined our founding partners in taking a direct role in the future of this organization and all that it represents," he says. "We now have 18 corporate members."
And the meeting was held in combination with a special forum on Alberta’s "Water For Life" Strategy, featuring a keynote presentation by Lorne Taylor, former Minister of the Environment in Alberta, supporting presentations from three leading producers and an open discussion. "That forum speaks to the fact that AEFP will take a leading role in talking openly and directly on key environmental issues for our industry and all society," says Kolk.
In Board elections, High River pork producer Dennis McKerracher, a long-time industry player and current Alberta Pork Board member, brings experience in industry affairs at the local, provincial and national level in the pork and livestock industry. He replaces outgoing board member, Paul Hodgman, Assistant General Manager of Alberta Pork.
Somerlee Bennett also joins the board. Bennett is assistant agricultural fieldman for the County of Wainwright and technician with the Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture program (AESA). She brings experience with the province’s Youth Advisory Committee and a background in soil and water conservation. She replaces Tim Dietzler, Agriculture Fieldman for the Municipal District of Rocky View.
"We are pleased to have new board members, and we want to especially thank Paul Hodgman and Tim Dietzler for their support," says Kolk. "They have been with the company in its initial growth stages and we appreciate their support and direction."
A complete overview of business activities in 2004 is available in the AEFP 2004 Annual Report available on the Web at www.albertaEFP.com, says Kolk. The target for this year is 3,000 or more new producer EFPs.
Through the Agricultural Policy Framework, the Government of Canada provides major funding to EFP program in Alberta, with the Government of Alberta providing additional in-kind support services to help the agricultural sector develop and implement Environmental Farm Plans.
Additional support has been provided by the Agriculture and Food Council, through the Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Initiative, the Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Council and various ministries of the Government of Alberta. Contributions have also come from more than 100 local municipalities, businesses and agricultural organizations.