Well, if you like hot weather… 2018 should not be disappointing to you. Irrigated crops look great… and the Alberta Sugar Beet Association tells me that they are on track for another record year. Taber corn is already out as of this writing, and I’m looking forward to my first ear.
If you are a dryland farmer, the weather has been a bit of a mixed bag. In the northern end of the riding, rain showers have been more prevalent than in other areas. Arrowwood and Milo areas are seeing some great showers, and crops are looking pretty good. As you move south, Lomond, Vulcan and Carmangay areas are a bit spottier. Less than three inches of rain so far is common in these areas. And the south end of the Little Bow riding is spotty as well. If you get under a shower, you can get? an inch in a hurry. But weather has always been the topic of conversation among farmers and ranchers. Those of us that have been in the business for more than 40 years have seen dry years before, and usually are telling our young farmers that we will see them again.
I have a bit of an ask of our Little Bow farmers and ranchers. Basically, three questions that will help with discussions regarding policy and platform of the UCP in preparation for fall session. We continue to hear from the agriculture industry producers about concerns with Bill 6, the Ag Coalition and Ag Safe.
I would appreciate any input that you could give my office in this regard by Sept.7. I will be bringing your concerns and ideas forward as we develop policy.
The UCP has heard from farmers and ranchers that changes needed to be made to Bill 6, but there are parts of the Bill that cannot be changed. The Supreme Court of Canada has made rulings that ultimately allow farm workers to now form a union if they wish to, and labour laws will have to be followed. However, other parts such as insurance and OH&S can be tweaked somehow should there be the desire for it.
Question 1: If Bill 6 was to be changed, what would you like to see changed?
The Ag Coalition was initially formed to be a conduit to government for the ag industry during Bill 6 discussions. It is made up of reps from producer groups of every ilk.
Question 2: Are you satisfied with how the AgCoalition has consulted with you, represented you and communicated with you since its inception?
The AgCoalition, with grants from government, has formed Ag Safe. AgSafe provides on farm safety services and instructor led courses. They also offer farm safety visits and consultations. The AgSafe AGM is by invitation only. I am not aware of any information about the Ag Coalition AGM.
Question 3: Should members of the roughly 28 producer groups that sit as representatives on the Coalition be able to make decisions with government on your behalf without input from you?
Please send email responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Written responses can be mailed to Little Bow Constituency at Box 1236, Coaldale Alberta T1M 1N1. You can also call my office at 403-405-5200.
Thank you in advance for your help on this important set of topics.
LITTLE BOW MLA DAVE SCHNEIDER