ABP celebrates 50 years of producers working for producers

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Source: Alberta Beef Producers

The 50th anniversary of Alberta Beef Producers (formerly the Alberta Cattle Commission) is a significant milestone for the beef industry in Alberta. Fifty years ago, our industry came together with a vision for the future.

In the late 1960s, Alberta cattle producers believed their messages were not being heard by governments and thought they needed a stronger voice in Edmonton and Ottawa. Producers as a whole needed to be better organized, financed, and coordinated in their efforts to influence policy makers. On September 3, 1969, the first meeting was called to order of the newly established Alberta Cattle Commission – a group of producers working on behalf of producers.

“In the 50 years of our existence, the issues our organization has addressed on behalf of cattle and beef producers have varied widely. However, the overall challenges producers face in maintaining sustainable and competitive operations have been relatively constant,” said Rich Smith, ABP Executive Director. “Producers and ABP continue to deal with retaining access to land and water, government policies, improving production efficiency, consumer perceptions of beef, and public pressure related to animal welfare, the environment, and food safety.”

The vision for our industry holds true today. ABP’s mandate has not changed and we continue to focus on our four priority areas of advocacy, communications, promotion and production. We as an organization are tasked with carrying out our mission and we recognize the opportunity we have before us. As the future unfolds, we will continue to pursue these priorities while constantly working to make ABP a more efficient organization that engages producers and provides value for their check-off investments.

The outcome of the recent plebiscite, the 2019 plan review and of course this anniversary, have all guided us as an organization to seize the opportunity going forward to revitalize, streamline and modernize.

“We’re suggesting little change to what we are mandated to do, but plan to introduce substantive changes in how we do this important work for our industry. At this year’s ABP fall meetings producers will have a chance to look at these proposed changes and have input on how we move forward,” said Charlie Christie, ABP Chair.

Communication has and will always be a challenge in our industry, but we will continue to focus on improved ways of getting information to producers and consumers. We need producers to know what we do on their behalf and we need to share our story with the public of our industry’s great record, both environmentally and as a nutritionally rich food choice. We have a unique and engaging story to tell and now more than ever we need to tell it.

“ABP without a doubt has been a cornerstone to our industry’s success. We thank all those producers who have given considerable time and efforts to serving our industry for the past 50 years as ABP delegates, directors and volunteers. Thank you to the families who have stepped up to fill the gaps while they worked on behalf of the producers in our province. You have been and are our greatest strength,” said Christie. “We also thank in advance anyone who steps forward in the future to support your industry. You won’t regret the commitment and the beef industry will be better for it.”

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