Farm Safety Initiatives
Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA)
Your Go to Source for Farm Safety
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AWC has taken a key role in establishing the Alberta Farm and Ranch Safety Extension Grant Working Group, now branded ‘AgSafe Alberta.’ Thanks to funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Growing Forward 2 program, AgSafe hired Donna Trottier to lead the development of safety education and tools for farmers and ranchers. Trottier is currently in the process of building a model of farm safety education programming that can become the foundation of a long-term, permanent structure with effective and stable programming. Trottier will be developing programs and materials, removing gaps in training resources, delivering educational resources for farmers and ranchers – whether building and capitalizing on existing resources or developing new programs – and helping to build a culture of farm safety. AgSafe will work closely with Agriculture and Forestry, the Canadian Agriculture Safety Association (CASA) and private consultants to establish the project plan.
When the Advanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act (Bill 6) was introduced in the fall of 2015, AWC felt that it was necessary to bring all of the crop and livestock organizations together to discuss how our sector could work together as a unified group in preparation for the upcoming consultations. This inaugural meeting saw historic and unprecedented support from across the crop and livestock sector to work collaboratively in developing a culture of farm and ranch safety in Alberta.
During this first meeting, there was overwhelming support across the board to continue to meet as the ‘AgCoalition,’ and to work together as a sector in preparation for the Bill 6 consultation sessions. This coalition is unprecedented in Alberta history, representing over 97 percent of cropping and livestock producers who share a common cause.
Since its inception, AWC’s staff has provided dedicated in-house support to the AgCoalition to ensure it could continue to build momentum in garnering producer input. Some of the highlights of this work included an online producer survey, as well as three producer meetings held across Alberta that shadowed the government’s consultation process. These workshops gave the agriculture community the opportunity to consider how best to create regulations under Bill 6. The intent of garnering this input was to support AgCoalition representatives at the government’s consultation sessions with information grounded in feedback from their peers.
AWC’s staff continues to support the AgCoalition’s efforts to build a culture of farm and ranch safety by carrying out operational functions under the direction of Interim Executive Director, Gord Winkel. With the consultation work well underway and in some cases complete for certain tables, the AgCoalition members are now working towards the formation of an industry-led farm and ranch safety association, which is consistent with the AgCoalition’s original mandate to ensure improved farm safety for all of those working in the agriculture sector in Alberta. The intent to move forward with an industry-led safety association or society was well received by the provincial government and we will look for opportunities to advance this work with their support.