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Alberta appoints board and chair of new meat agency

The Alberta government’s strategy to revitalize the provincial livestock and meat industry has reached its first major milestone by naming the chair and the initial board members of the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA).

Joe Makowecki, President of Heritage Frozen Foods, has been appointed as the first chair of ALMA and Ted Bilyea, Charlie Gracey and Kee Jim have been named as its first board members.

The board will now begin its work leading the recently created agency to help transition Alberta’s livestock industry into competitiveness and sustainability.

“This agency will play a vital role in re-invigorating Alberta’s livestock industry and it was essential that we found the right people to lead it,” said George Groeneveld, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. “As chair, Joe Makowecki brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and a long history of success. Under his direction, the agency is well prepared to spear-head the kind of fundamental changes that are required.”

First announced in June as part of the provincial government’s Alberta Livestock and Meat Strategy, the new agency is modeled after similar successful organizations in other countries. It will redirect government funds, resources and programs to help revitalize the livestock sector, enhance the value chain and achieve the necessary changes to build a competitive livestock industry.

“Alberta faces intense competition in the domestic and international marketplaces for livestock products,” said Makowecki. “Our competitors are well organized – we must be too. I am looking forward to working with the new board as we work to create an environment where Alberta’s livestock industry can thrive and prosper.”

ALMA will receive $56 million from the province this year to support its work.

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