Heather Broughton’s title may be the same, but the organization she leads has changed.
Last week, the Donalda-area grain grower was re-elected chair of the Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta — a non-profit society that promotes the growth, sustainability, competitiveness and profitability of the province’s agriculture and food industries.
Formed in 1994 following consultations between the Alberta government and agriculture and agri-food groups, the council previously consisted of 27 members: 22 elected from industry, a student representative and two ex officio members each from the provincial and federal governments.
The council’s structure has now been changed to include a nine-member board and membership open to organizations and individuals active in the agriculture and food industries.
“It gives us an opportunity to gain a broader perspective from the industry, with the greater number of members,” said Broughton, noting that the council had 75 voting members at its annual general meeting last Tuesday.
“We strive to represent the diagonal cross-section of the industry, so if we can open up the membership to include as many as we can, I think that gives us a better perspective in moving forward.”
Broughton said the next step will be to conduct a planning session to determine the council’s role and processes going forward.
“This is new ground for us, because it’s kind of a rebuild and a revitalization of council.”
The Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta will continue to manage the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP) in Alberta on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
“That’s our flagship program,” said Broughton, describing how CAPP supports three categories of projects: seizing opportunities, responding to new and emerging issues, and path-finding and piloting solutions to new and ongoing issues.
Membership in the council costs $200 for organizations and $50 for individuals.
Information about the Agriculture and Food Council of Alberta can be found online at www.agfoodcouncil.com.