Voting Opens for Alberta Wheat, Barley Merger

by | Oct 4, 2022 | Business, News

Barley and wheat farmers in Alberta can vote throughout the month of October on if Alberta Barley and the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) should formally amalgamate to form a single crop commission, an Oct. 4 news release said. The Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council, in collaboration with third-party election advisor MNP, have opened voting online and through the phone until 12 p.m. CDT on Nov. 1, 2022.

The release said farmers who have paid a levy on wheat or barley sales from Jan. 1, 2020 to April 30, 2022, including farmers who have requested refunds, will receive a voting pin in the mail they can use to cast their vote online or over the phone.

“Electronic voting provides barley and wheat farmers the chance to vote from anywhere – including the cabs of their combines,” Greg Sears, AWC chair, said in the release. “We hope for a strong voter turnout thanks to the ease of voting platform supporting both online and telephone, ensuring farmers’ voices are heard.”

Voting is open for a month-long period to give wheat and barley farmers ample time to provide their input, the release noted.

“It’s critical to have as many farmers as possible engaged in the vote,” says Alberta Barley chair Tara Sawyer. “With the month-long voting period, wheat and barley farmers throughout the province have equal opportunity to engage in the two plebiscites.”

Additional details on the plebiscites include:

  • Farmers who grow both barley and wheat crops will have two votes (one for each crop)
  • Farming corporations, cooperatives or partnerships will have one vote for each crop they grow on behalf of their legal entity
  • During the first week of October, farmers will receive a letter that includes a voting pin – their unique identifier to cast their vote(s) via the online and telephone voting platform
    • If you are an eligible grower and have not received a voting pin by Oct. 12, please contact the Voter Help Desk at (844) 807-5762 or at [email protected]

Alberta barley and wheat farmers gave approval for the commissions to proceed with amalgamation plebiscites via formal motions at each commission’s annual general meeting during the 2021-2022 meeting season, there release said.

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