2015-2016 Annual Report - Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry

 
 
Download 3,437K pdf file ("af-2015-16-annual-report.pdf")PDF
(3,437K)
     Subscribe to our free E-Newsletter, "Agri-News" (formerly RTW This Week)Agri-News
This Week
 
 
 
 Preface | Minister’s Accountability Statement | Message from the Minister | Management's Responsibility for Reporting | Ministry Overview | Results Analysis | Appendix A: Agriculture and Forestry Statistics | Financial Information | Other Financial Information | Other Statutory Reports

Preface

The Public Accounts of Alberta are prepared in accordance with the Financial Administration Act and the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act. The Public Accounts consist of the annual report of the Government of Alberta and the annual reports of each of the 20 ministries.

The annual report of the Government of Alberta contains ministers’ accountability statements, the consolidated financial statements of the province and Measuring Up report, which compares actual performance results to desired results set out in the government’s strategic plan.

This annual report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry contains the minister’s accountability statement, the audited consolidated financial statements of the ministry and a comparison of actual performance results to desired results set out in the ministry business plan. This ministry annual report also includes:

  • the financial statements of entities making up the ministry including the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, regulated funds, and provincial agencies for which the minister is responsible;
  • other financial information as required by the Financial Administration Act and Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act, either as separate reports or as a part of the financial statements, to the extent that the ministry has anything to report; and
  • financial information relating to trust funds.
Minister’s Accountability Statement

The ministry’s annual report for the year ended March 31, 2016, was prepared under my direction in accordance with the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act and the government’s accounting policies. All of the government’s policy decisions as at June 2, 2016, with material economic or fiscal implications of which I am aware have been considered in the preparation of this report.

[Original signed by]

Honourable Oneil Carlier
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry


Message from the Minister

It was a challenging year for our agriculture and forestry sectors as an early spring, coupled with dry conditions during a large portion of the summer, created concerns about the impact on wildfires and agriculture producers.

During one of the busiest wildfire seasons on record, our fire crews battled more than 1,700 fires that covered approximately 500,000 hectares, and I want to take this opportunity to thank them for their long hours and tremendous efforts to protect Albertans, communities, and important infrastructure.

Fortunately, significant rainfall later in the summer helped reduce the wildfire risk and improved soil moisture conditions. In general, crop yields and feed supplies were much better than initially anticipated, although results varied from region to region. Producers who were most affected by dry conditions had access to the robust suite of existing programs and services designed to provide assistance during difficult times. This includes crop insurance, AgriStability, and AgriInvest. The Agriculture Financial Services Corporation facilitated nearly $500 million in insurance payouts and staff worked hard to ensure claims were processed in a timely manner.

Despite challenges brought about by the weather, there was good news for the agriculture sector, with records set in farm income, international exports, and food and beverage manufacturing sales. One of the highlights was the U.S. government’s decision to finally put an end to mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (COOL) requirements. These requirements were saddling our beef and pork industries with millions of dollars in unnecessary tracking and segregation costs. The forestry sector also benefited from the favourable dollar exchange rate and experienced some increases in lumber prices as well as a rise in wood, pulp and newsprint exports.

Our government recognizes the incredible contribution that the agriculture and forestry sectors make to the provincial economy and our rural communities. In 2015, the two sectors generated exports valued at approximately $13 billion and employed approximately 100,000 people. There is potential for growth to further diversify and contribute to Alberta’s economic strengths.

Over the course of the year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry continued to focus on core programs and services that support the long-term success and sustainability of our renewable industries and rural Alberta. This included maintaining funding for important community organizations such as agricultural societies, agricultural service boards, and rural utilities. The ministry also invested in areas like research and innovation, improved market access, environmental stewardship, industry development, food safety, and combatting threats to our forests like the mountain pine beetle.

An example of how the ministry is working to advance sustainable agricultural practices was the official opening in November of the Farm Stewardship Centre. The Centre will focus on applied research, evaluation, and implementation of new methods and technology to reduce the environmental footprint of farming and food production. Our government also introduced the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act to extend workers’ compensation and health and safety coverage to waged non-family farm workers, and will continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure that the legislation recognizes the unique circumstances of the family farm.

As we move forward, our ministry will continue to work in strong partnership with Alberta’s forestry and agriculture sectors to explore new opportunities, address challenges, and position our province and our communities for success.

[Original signed by]

Honourable Oneil Carlier
Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

Management's Responsibility for Reporting

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry includes:
  • Department of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
  • Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund
  • Alberta Grains Council
  • Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency Ltd.
  • The Office of the Farmers’ Advocate
  • Irrigation Council
  • Agriculture Products Marketing Council
The executives of the individual entities within the ministry have the primary responsibility and accountability for the respective entities. Collectively, the executives ensure the ministry complies with all relevant legislation, regulations, and policies.

Ministry business plans, annual reports, performance results, and the supporting management information are integral to the government’s fiscal and strategic plan, annual report, quarterly reports, and other financial and performance reporting.

Responsibility for the integrity and objectivity of the consolidated financial statements and performance results for the ministry rests with the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. Under the direction of the minister, I oversee the preparation of the ministry’s annual report, including consolidated financial statements and performance results. The consolidated financial statements and the performance results, of necessity, include amounts that are based on estimates and judgments. The consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with Canadian public sector accounting standards. The performance measures are prepared in accordance with the following criteria:
  • Reliability – information used in applying performance measure methodologies agrees with underlying source data for the current and prior years’ results.
  • Understandability – the performance measure methodologies and results are presented clearly.
  • Comparability – the methodologies for performance measure preparation are applied consistently for the current and prior years’ results.
  • Completeness – goals, performance measures, and related targets match those included in the ministry’s Budget 2015.
As deputy minister, in addition to program responsibilities, I am responsible for the ministry’s financial administration and reporting functions. The ministry maintains systems of financial management and internal control which give consideration to costs, benefits, and risks that are designed to:
  • provide reasonable assurance that transactions are properly authorized, executed in accordance with prescribed legislation and regulations, and properly recorded so as to maintain accountability of public money;
  • provide information to manage and report on performance;
  • safeguard the assets and properties of the province under ministry administration;
  • provide Executive Council, the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry information needed to fulfill their responsibilities; and
  • facilitate preparation of ministry business plans and annual reports required under the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act.
In fulfilling my responsibilities for the ministry, I have relied, as necessary, on the executives of the individual entities within the ministry.

[Original signed by]

Beverly Yee
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
June 2, 2016

Ministry Overview

Our ministry provides the framework and services necessary for Alberta’s agriculture and forestry sector to excel, inspire public confidence in the quality and safety of food, support environmentally sustainable production practices, and lead the collaboration that enables resilient rural communities.

The ministry is comprised of the:
  • Department of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Agriculture Financial Services Corporation
  • Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency Ltd.
  • Office of the Farmers’ Advocate of Alberta
  • Alberta Grains Council
  • Agricultural Products Marketing Council
  • Irrigation Council
  • Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund
Department of Agriculture and Forestry
The Department of Agriculture and Forestry operates in four key divisions: Food Safety and Technology, Industry and Rural Development, Policy and Environment, and Forestry.
    Food Safety and Technology – The Food Safety and Technology division protects public health through food safety and animal health systems. Safety standards, surveillance systems, and emergency response plans minimize the impact of diseases and allow for rapid response to emerging issues. Some programs include inspections of all Alberta-licensed abattoirs and surveillance of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Within the division, the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian advocates the use of current scientific principles in the development of animal health legislation and disease control programs. The division also provides the technology and information management necessary to support the ministry’s operations, including print and electronic publishing services.

    Industry and Rural Development – The Industry and Rural Development division supports the agriculture industry and rural businesses. The division helps these businesses develop and commercialize new products and scale up their operations through such services as business incubation and value-added processing offered at the Food Processing Development Centre. The division also administers 4-H and FarmSafe programs to build life skills and leadership throughout rural Alberta and cultivate a culture of safety.

    Policy and Environment – The Policy and Environment division supports the growth of Alberta’s agriculture industry. Through market and trend analysis, the division identifies trade and market opportunities. The division provides statistical information, data on costs and returns, and market analysis to support sound decision-making by both government and industry. By also supporting industry’s adoption of environmental stewardship best practices, the division helps businesses position themselves to meet emerging expectations for sustainably produced products.

    Forestry – The Forestry division manages and protects Alberta’s forest resources through effective and efficient wildfire management, sustainable forest management, and maintenance of the health of our forests. The division supports and applies current science, focusing on topics like climate change, biodiversity, hydrology, and long-term planning of forest resources, to ensure continued economic and environmental values are realized. Management of forest pests like mountain pine beetle and other invasive species further protects these values. The division is active in promoting market access for forest products and ensuring Albertans capture social and economic benefits from a robust forest sector.
Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC)
The Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) provides a wide variety of unique financial services, including lending capital and risk management products, to fit the business needs of producers, the agriculture industry, and small businesses in Alberta. Working closely with clients, many made-in-Alberta products have been developed to address existing gaps in the marketplace where similar products are not readily available. The corporation has helped position Alberta as a leader in business risk management programs for crops and livestock and plays a pivotal role in the development and delivery of insurance, income stabilization, and disaster recovery programs. AFSC is responsible for all portions of the multilateral Growing Forward 2 Framework agreement that governs the management of agriculture risk in Alberta, including AgriInsurance, AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriRecovery and the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program. Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency Ltd.
Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency Ltd. (ALMA)
The Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency Ltd. (ALMA) provides ideas, information, and investment opportunities to the livestock industry and advises on public policy. ALMA’s programs stimulate innovation, encourage adoption of best practices, and develop new technologies and state-of-the-art processes.
Office of the Farmers’ Advocate of Alberta
Office of the Farmers’ Advocate of Alberta
The Office of the Farmers’ Advocate of Alberta is an agency within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that works closely with rural Alberta and provides the minister with information on issues concerning rural Albertans. The agency exists so rural Albertans can make informed risk management decisions, operate in a balanced legal environment, access information regarding industry policies and procedures, and have an outlet to settle disagreements. Alb

Alberta Grains Council (AGC)Grains Council
The Alberta Grains Council (AGC) is an agency within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry that advises and makes recommendations to the department on current and emerging issues and trends in the grain industry. The AGC liaises with other governments, groups, and boards within and outside Alberta.
cultural Products Marketing Council
Agricultural Products Marketing Council
The Agricultural Products Marketing Council advises the minister on matters related to the establishment, operation, and management of the marketing boards and commissions established under the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act. The council also provides strategic support to marketing boards and commissions on board governance, leadership development, and regulatory and policy matters. Irrigation
Council
Irrigation Council
The Irrigation Council supports the Government of Alberta and irrigation districts by providing recommendations and advice, regulatory administration, and strategic funding decisions that facilitate the responsible allocation, management, and use of water delivered through irrigation infrastructure. The council is made up of five public members and two government representatives appointed by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry. Environmental Protection and Enhancement

Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund
The Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund is established under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and is used for environmental protection, enhancement, and emergencies.

Further information about ministry programs and services can be found at www.agric.gov.ab.ca. The Ag-Info Centre is also available for additional information by calling toll-free in Alberta 310-FARM (3276).

Results Analysis Appendix A: Agriculture and Forestry Statistics - 150K PDF

Financial Information
Financial Statements for the year ended March 31, 2016
Other Financial Information - 158K PDF

Other Statutory Reports - 72K PDF
 
 
 
 
Share via AddThis.com
For more information about the content of this document, contact Ag Info Centre.
This information published to the web on June 21, 2016.
Last Reviewed/Revised on June 29, 2016.