FutureFare 2016 was a Successful Final Event for ALMA

Each year, the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA) hosted FutureFare to bring together industry, government and academia to celebrate the successes achieved in Alberta’s livestock and meat sector.

futurefare-2016FutureFare 2016 held a few additional purposes. As ALMA is closing its doors at the end of October, this farewell event highlighted the successes of ALMA-industry partnerships and answered questions regarding the transition of ALMA programs to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Minister Oneil Carlier opened up the afternoon by thanking the ALMA Board and Staff prior to introducing Assistant Deputy Minister, John Brown, to go through the specifics for the transition.

Earlier in the day, ALMA Board Chair, Dr. David Chalack welcomed around 250 attendees to the event, followed by ALMA President and CEO, Gordon Cove providing ALMA’s successes over the 2015-16 fiscal year. Cove then invited keynote speaker, John F.T. Scott, to speak about the dynamic changes for food retail markets, including consumer trends and expectations.

After Scott’s presentation, the “Words from Industry” session showed ALMA’s impact within the industry since inception. Dr. Merle Olson talked about his involvement with Solvet and Alberta Veterinary Laboratories before highlighting research partnerships with ALMA, including a project to create a meloxicam oral suspension to control pain and inflammation following castration.

Then, Dwayne Beaton began his presentation in the form of an exit interview from the perspective of his companies, SunGold Speciality Meats and Canada Gold Beef. From equipment upgrades to market access to communications materials to product development, Beaton’s companies are long-time partners of ALMA’s and these initiatives show the value of collaboration to achieve growth.

The last speaker for the “Words from Industry” session was Dr. Jay Cross, University of Calgary Professor and Board Chair for Livestock Gentec. His presentation put a focus on how genomics is helping further the beef industry through improvements in production efficiency. He also provided one last proposal, the Canadian Beef Improvement Network, to enhance data sharing for genomics.

To conclude the morning, Leger’s Barry Davis’ presentation focused on the ALMA-supported Canadian Consumer Retail Meat Study 2016. This included the context of the report, its methodology and some notable results. The full study is linked below.

Before introducing Minister Carlier, Cove first addressed attendees in the afternoon to present a summary of ALMA’s involvement with industry and acknowledge the people that help build that success. At this time, Cove would like to add the following:

“I believe that ALMA achieved its vision to be a catalyst for the livestock and meat industry, but our success is not possible without industry collaboration. On behalf of ALMA, thank you to everyone who attended FutureFare 2016 and all of our partners and co-funders since inception. I was honoured to work alongside each one of you to help grow Alberta’s agriculture industry and make it more sustainable.”

If you were unable to attend FutureFare 2016, or would like to reference some of the materials from the event, please look through the links below.