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How technology could help agriculture’s labour crisis

As we’ve seen in earlier posts on this blog, Canada’s agriculture industry is experiencing a chronic labour crisis.

According to labour market information (LMI) research conducted by The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC), the vacancy rate for on-farm jobs is seven per cent, which is the highest vacancy rate of any of Canada’s industry sectors. Read more

Agricultural labour shortage? How the industry is looking for a solution

Last week on this blog, we learned 12 facts about the agricultural labour shortage, and why it matters to Canadians. This week we’re going to take a look at some of the solutions being explored to help with this chronic crisis.

At the ACFA we have a variety of initiatives aimed to help with recruitment and retention, but there are many other programs in place aimed at helping solve the challenge. Here are three of them:

1. The Canadian Agricultural and Agri-Food Workforce Action Plan (WAP)

Supported by almost 70 agricultural associations, the WAP is a long-term strategy to address the issue of the chronic shortage of labour. Its stated goals include increasing the supply of workers, and also improving the knowledge and skills of workers.

“Communicating the labour shortage issue is part of the work of the Canadian Agriculture and Agri-Food Workforce Action Plan (WAP),” said Janet Krayden, stakeholder engagement specialist with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council. “It’s important, because this work is essential to providing Canadians with food and it involves unique and special skills of workers.”

2. The temporary foreign worker program

Canadian farmers always employ Canadians wherever possible, but sometimes they simply can’t build a workforce large enough to run their operations. Often, the only way they can run efficiently is by supplementing their Canadian workforce with temporary foreign workers.

3. Career Connections

In an earlier post, we discussed Career Connections, an innovative educational program from Acme School, which is helping teach students about the opportunities available to them in their rural communities. You can read more in ‘How cattle feeders are helping create a future for young people in agriculture’.

Career connections farm tourThere is no simple solution to the labour crisis, in part because there is no simple cause. But, initiatives like these are all helping us deal with a chronic and worsening problem.

Stay tuned for future blog posts, as we will undoubtedly return to this important topic.

 

12 must-know facts about the agricultural labour shortage (and why it matters to Canadians)

Last week on this blog we talked about the labour shortage facing cattle feeders. This week we’re taking a more detailed look at how that affects Canadians. Read more

5 must-know facts about the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association

Cattle feeders

The Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA) has led the industry for more than four decades. We are the voice of cattle feeders who raise a substantial percentage of beef produced in Alberta.

Here, in five brief points, is a snapshot of who we are, what we do, and why you should be interested:

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Temporary foreign worker program review — what it means to Alberta beef

When the Liberal government announced a review of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFW program) last week, the news caused little more than a ripple — but to the beef industry it’s a big deal.

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Cattle feeding in 2015: a year in review

This was another busy year for the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association, as we continued to support our industry through five strategic priorities.  With new governments both provincially and federally, we’ve been kept very busy. Here are some of 2015’s highlights:

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The making of a cattle feeders’ association – major milestones in our history

 

Alberta cattle feeders

Photo courtesy of Glenbow Museum circa 1910

Alberta has a long history of producing the finest beef, and our feedlot operators are proud of the role they play in producing world-class quality. 

Alberta cattle feedlots

Photo credit Glenbow Museum “Start to Finish” circa 1953

In a previous post we explained who the ACFA is, and what we do. This week we’re going to share a short history of the Alberta feedlot industry and the birth of its association:

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