b"AMALGAMATIONJoining TogetherSeed growers in Alberta and British Columbia have come together to form one new united organization. A NEW AGRICULTURAL organization was formed in Western Canada earlier this year, and while its not starting from nothing, the group is bringing together two organizations whose members have a lot in common. The amalgamation of the Alberta Seed Growers (ASG) and the British Columbia Seed Growers (BCSG) started in 2021 and became official in June 2022 under the name the Alberta-British Columbia Seed Growers (ABCSG). The new group represents nearly 720 seed growers from the two western provinces.For BCSG, overall membership in the organization dwindled over the years along with loss of government support, which led the board to look into a merger with ASG. The association at one time had 50 to 60 members but was down to around 24 members before the amalgamation. Most members of the board found themselves serving in positions for decades and as a group without any hired staff they were struggling to provide value added opportunities such as research work to their membership.When the Seeds Canada merger was proposed, the planDave Wuthrich, seed grower in British Columbias Peace Country and former was for there to be eight regions. Originally BCSG thoughtBritish Columbia Seed Growers (BCSG) board memberthey could possibly be a region with the Alberta Peace River area, which would give them enough people for nationalWhen the amalgamation was first proposed, Tracy Niemela representation. After CSGA voted not to amalgamate, BCSGwasnt yet president of ASG, but she thought merger was a good thought joining ASG might be a good idea, so they approachedidea. Niemela is part of Sandy Hill Seed Farm in Sylvan Lake, their eastern neighbours asking for an amalgamation.Alta. and while she may be located in the central portion of the For the merger process to happen, first members of bothprovince, she understands the similarities of growing seed in groups had to vote in favour of an amalgamation. From therethe peace regions of Alberta and B.C. area. the ASG bylaws had to be updated to allow B.C. members toThey experience similar issues, as the Peace Region seems to become ASG members with voting rights and the ability to runfunction as a region with limited recognition of the provincial for board positions. A special resolution and proposed revisedboundary. So, dealing with weather and producing seed, it's bylaws were sent to members 30 days before the respectivethe same across the region. If you want to have a bigger voice branches annual general meetings. These changes permittedin the West, or you want to expand your business reach, I think seed growers from both provinces to become full members ofamalgamation is a good idea, she explains in a phone interview.the new organization. As the amalgamation process unfolded, Niemela was chosen A news release at the time of the announcement said bothas the president for ASG and found herself at the forefront Alberta and B.C. are critical players in Canadas seed industry,of discussions on the proposed merger. She found that ASG and as a united association ABCSG will continue to providemembers were concerned about loss of national representation marketing opportunities and advocacy for members locally,for their fellow B.C. seed growers at the national level with the regionally, and nationally. Canadian Seed Growers Association (CSGA).10seed.ab.ca"