Renee Hoyme elected as new Alberta Seed Growers board president

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Renee Hoyme elected as new Alberta Seed Growers board president

(Lacombe, Alberta) Feb. 26, 2019 – The Alberta Seed Growers (ASG) board of directors have elected Renee Hoyme as president and Tracy Niemela as vice-president following their annual general meeting on February 8, 2019.

“I would like to thank the board of directors for this opportunity,” said Hoyme, who previously served as ASG co-vice president for the past year. “I look forward to representing Alberta’s seed growers and working towards a bright future for our industry.”

Hoyme and her husband, Geoff, farm with her parents, Harry and Barb DeWindt, outside of Thorhild, AB.  Their farm, DeWindt Farms Ltd., is a pedigreed seed and commercial grain operation. Hoyme also works for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as an animal and seed potato inspector.

“I am honoured to serve another year as vice-president for this great organization,” said Niemela. “I will be there to support the board’s executive and represent the best interests of our membership.”

Niemela and her husband farm near Sylvan Lake with her parents, Terry and Marilyn, and other family members.

“On behalf of the ASG board of directors and members, I would also like to thank Ward Oatway for his service as our president over the past two years,” added Hoyme. “Our industry is tackling some challenging issues and Ward has been a strong leader for the education and awareness of our members and our customers. It is the voice of our members and the leadership from our board that has set our current direction. I’m confident that we are up to the task of building on solutions that benefit the entire seed industry.”

As outgoing president, Ward Oatway will remain on the executive as past-president for the next two years.

 

About the Alberta Seed Growers

The ASG is one of seven branches of the Canadian Seed Growers’ Association. Each branch has its own board that works at a provincial level but also has representation at the national level to communicate the sentiments of the provincial membership.

For more information, contact:

Kelly Chambers
Executive Director
c: 403-325-0081
e: [email protected]

REQUEST FOR SEED MARKETING PROPOSALS 2019

Saskatchewan Pulse Growers is inviting marketing proposals for exclusive rights to the marketing, distribution, and sale of Pedigreed Seed within Canada (excluding Saskatchewan) for select pulse varieties released in 2019.

Exclusive pedigreed seed marketing rights for each cultivar will be awarded on the basis of demonstrated expertise, realistic business plans for increasing, promoting, distributing, and marketing of pedigreed seed, plans for the enforcement of plant breeders’ rights, willingness to pay registration, PBR, and regional trialing fees, and proposed financial compensation.

For more information, click here.

ASG November 2018 Newsletter

Our November 2018 newsletter can be viewed by clicking here.

Information regarding the Brian Knull Memorial Scholarship

The Brian Knull Memorial Scholarship was created in 2018 by CANTERRA SEEDS and the Knull Family to encourage rural students to continue with their education at a post-secondary institution.

Brian was a born in Wetaskiwin and raised on a farm in the County of Wetaskiwin. He attended Pigeon Lake Regional High School and University of Alberta taking Agriculture. Brian worked in the Agriculture field for over 40 years and contributed much to his community and local 4-H.

The $1500 scholarship will be awarded on a yearly basis.

For information, click here.

ASG August 2018 Newsletter

Our August 2018 newsletter can be viewed by clicking here.

ASG July 2018 Newsletter

Our July 2018 newsletter can be viewed by clicking here.

Important information re: Occupational health and safety – Farm and ranch

The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act sets the minimum standards for protecting waged, non-family farm and ranch workers. These industry-specific rules will come into effect Dec. 1, 2018.

To access the Government of Alberta’s website, which contains critical information regarding these changes, click here.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • New technical rules in the OHS Code will be in effect December 1, 2018 for farms and ranches with waged, non-family workers.
  • OHS requirements do not apply to:
    • Owners, family members, or volunteers of a farm or ranch operation.
    • The private residence including areas around the home, backyard or garden.
    • Recreational activities such as horseback riding or hunting.

Additional resources: 

Alberta Farmers React to New OHS Agriculture Regulations FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | June 27, 2018

Health and safety on Alberta farms and ranches handbook

Statement from ASG President Ward Oatway

The following is a message from the Alberta Seed Growers president Ward Oatway regarding last week’s announcement by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) of an isolated discovery of a few wheat plants in Southern Alberta.…

“The Alberta Seed Growers have the utmost confidence in Canada’s regulatory system, which operated successfully to detect, eliminate and monitor an isolated discovery of genetically modified wheat in Southern Alberta. This information was shared transparently by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the outcomes are further supported by Crop Life Canada and the Canada Grains Council. The system works, and we are proud to support our industry’s full commitment towards transparency with our international customers.”

For further information or inquiries, please contact ASG executive director Kelly Chambers via email at [email protected].

For more information: 

CFIA: Statement by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on the detection of genetically modified herbicide tolerant wheat in Alberta

Alberta Wheat Commission: CFIA process assures customers that no GM wheat is grown commercially in Canada

UPDATE – Alberta Wheat Commission: AWC welcomes the resumption of South Korea wheat trade

New Model Launched for Access to CDC Pulse Varieties

Pulse licensing system gives Alberta growers access to CDC new varieties, but will raise seed costs for farmers.

In early 2016, the Alberta Pulse Growers pulled its research funding from the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre (CDC). Since then, members of the Alberta Seed Growers (ASG) have been concerned about access to new varieties of pulses, as there was only a limited amount of seed released to Alberta each year.

“When the research funding was pulled, many seed growers were left at a disadvantage for access to new varieties,” notes ASG national board member Ron Markert.

Things have changed, and the seed growers in Alberta have formal access to CDC varieties once again. Saskatchewan Pulse Growers (SPG) has licensed the distribution rights for select CDC pulse varieties in provinces outside of Saskatchewan to SeCan and SeedNet for a 10-year period.

“This is a significant development for Alberta seed growers and farmers,” says Markert.

Here are the basic implications of the deal, which takes effect for the 2018 growing season.

It involves a royalty system and seed growers must be members of SeedNet or SeCan to access the seed.

By licensing the distribution of select varieties for sale in provinces outside of Saskatchewan, SPG is ensuring that growers in other provinces also pay for access to CDC varieties through a seed-royalty system. Licensing the distribution rights will not impact Saskatchewan growers’ ability to access these varieties royalty-free.

For seed growers outside Saskatchewan that are interested in accessing the varieties that have been licensed for distribution outside Saskatchewan, they can contact SeCan and SeedNet for more information.

Seed growers who are not a part of SeCan and SeedNet and have not previously purchased seed of the licensed varieties may contact each company regarding the potential to join and have the opportunity to access these varieties.

Seed growers in Saskatchewan are not permitted to sell seed of CDC-developed varieties to seed growers or commercial producers outside of Saskatchewan without an agreement in place with either SeCan or SeedNet.

“There was a lot of uncertainty on how these products would be handled, and having this settled now with a full list of products has been well received by all SeCan members,” says Todd Hyra, western business manager for SeCan.

With the added royalty, farmers will pay more for certified seed.

Saskatchewan pulse producers contribute significant upfront funding towards the development of CDC varieties,” says Carl Potts, executive director of SPG. “These contributions are made through SPG’s investment of pulse levy towards the CDC pulse breeding program. In exchange for this investment, SPG ensures that Saskatchewan growers are provided with royalty-free access to CDC developed varieties.”

“The new arrangement will result in higher seed cost for farmers in Alberta,” notes Elizabeth Tokariuk, general manager for SeedNet. “The arrangement represents one of the first value capture models being enacted via the royalty system.”

Seed growers may need to overcome price objections due to the royalty fee that will need to be built into the seed cost. Tokariuk says SeedNet is actively working with members to help them tackle potential challenges that arise from this.

“I think farmers recognize the value of CDC varieties and that quality is worth paying for,” she says.

Hyra agrees.

“It’s a shift. In Saskatchewan, a portion of the checkoff has been used to pay for the breeding. In Manitoba and Alberta there hasn’t been that consistent model. This provides a consistent way to flow back dollars from sales of the product and users of the product back to the breeding program. Obviously, no one likes paying more, but they recognize the value that CDC pulse varieties have been able to deliver over the years.”

For more information on the varieties licensed to SeCan and SeedNet, visit http://saskpulse.com/growing/varieties.