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Alberta wheat, barley groups test merged management

AWC's general manager to manage both organizations for now

Barley south of Ethelton, Sask. on Aug. 3, 2017. (Dave Bedard photo)

Already sharing an office and support staff, the Alberta Wheat Commission and Alberta Barley are taking the next step by sharing a manager.

The two grower commissions announced Wednesday that the AWC’s general manager Tom Steve will now serve also as Alberta Barley’s general manager, replacing Rob Davies.

With Steve on board, the two commissions’ boards said they’ve approved a project to “assess the feasibility of amalgamating their management teams over a four-month trial period.”

Since they already share office space, near Calgary International Airport, as well as accounting and administrative staff, the move is “a logical next step in further building the working relationship between the two commissions,” they said.

“By exploring the idea of a single management team, we hope to identify ways to provide greater value to the province’s wheat and barley farmers,” Jason Lenz, Alberta Barley’s chairman and a farmer at Bentley, said in a release.

“Since our inception in 2012 we have collaborated with Alberta Barley on projects that serve both crops,” AWC’s chairman Kevin Auch, who farms at Carmangay, said in the same release.

“With a shared management structure, we believe we can operate with maximum efficiency and provide the best possible return on investment to farmers.”

Once the trial period ends in 2018, the two boards said, they’ll “determine whether they will formalize an integrated management structure operating under one general manager and reporting to both boards.”

The two commissions have shared space and staff since 2013, a move which they said at the time marked “an industry first for collaboration, as well as maximizing farmers’ checkoff dollars.”

Steve, the AWC’s general manager since 2014, came to Alberta from the same post at the Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, and previously served as Viterra’s director of customer relations and service.

Davies, previously best known as the CEO at Saskatchewan’s Weyburn Inland Terminal, left Alberta Barley on Sept. 6 after just over two years as its GM. — Network


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