Trip Report: Mission to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma - January 3 - 6, 2014

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 Purpose of travel:

Attend the Legislative Agriculture Chairs (LAC) Summit and the State Agriculture and Rural Leaders (SARL) Board Meetings.

Summit Overview:

The LAC Summit brings together senior United States (US) state agriculture legislators and Canadian provincial ministers, elected and department officials, and industry leaders to discuss agriculture challenges and potential solutions and to broaden understanding between the US and Canada on agricultural issues. The Summit affords Canadian provinces and the federal government an excellent opportunity to network and advance key Canadian interests in agriculture, energy, trade, and border issues.

The 2014 LAC Summit saw attendance from over 200 legislators, department officials and industry sponsors, representing 45 states and seven provinces.

Mission Objectives:

  • Advance Alberta/Canada’s trade policy priorities with key US legislators and influential industry leaders; and
  • Build strategic networks with key US influencers.

Summit Highlights:
  • A pre-Summit briefing for Canadian delegates was held to streamline advocacy messaging. Representatives of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) provided an overview of Canada-US relations and advocacy efforts. John Masswohl, Director of Government and International Relations with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and Jurgen Preugschas representing the Canadian Pork Council and Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency provided updates on the World Trade Organization panel ruling against US mandatory Country of Origin Labeling (mCOOL) legislation and the status of the US Farm Bill.
  • The provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, and the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; and the Canadian Consulates of Denver, Minneapolis and Dallas collaborated to host a Canadian event where the Honourable Paula Caldwell, Consul General (Canadian Consulate Dallas) provided a keynote address on the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement, highlighting the importance of the Canada-US relationship and its significance to economic stability across sectors (including energy and agriculture).
  • Minister Olson, representing Canada’s provinces provided comments during dinner encouraging engagement between provinces/states on priority issues. He articulated the benefits of working collaboratively on common challenges to advance respective agriculture industries.

2014 LAC Summit Agenda: The Summit included a series of plenary sessions and panels that allowed for open discussion on key agricultural issues.

  • Hazardous Weather Responses: The Animals
  • Water Quantity; Rules, Laws, and Rights
  • Rural Development Strategies That Work
  • Food Safety; Feds and Farmers
  • The Future of Agriculture
  • The Government, Nutrients and Water
  • Invasive Species
  • Rural First Responders
  • Local Responses for Dealing with Severe Weather
  • State Efforts at Increasing Agriculture Trade
  • Working Session – Livestock Trespassing Legislation
  • Energy Chairs Organizational Session
  • SARL Board Meeting and Elections


  • Advocated and secured support for the repeal of mCOOL by all legislators;
  • Enhanced Canada’s profile by securing a strong Canadian presence, with representation from seven provinces and federal posts and key industry stakeholders;
  • Expanded Alberta’s contact network of key US legislative and industry influencers;
  • Facilitated the development of provincial/state and federal/provincial/state partnerships;
  • Exchanged information on priority agriculture issues;
  • Collaborated with provincial ministers, provincial elected officials, Canadian Embassy, Canadian Consulates, and key industry representatives to advance priority agriculture issues; and
  • Ensured continued Canadian legislator representation on the SARL Board.


  • Honorable Verlyn Olson, Q.C.
  • Ken Lemke, MLA
  • Nick Harsulla, Chief of Staff
  • Jason Krips, DM
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This document is maintained by Kelly Bernard.
This information published to the web on March 5, 2014.
Last Reviewed/Revised on March 12, 2015.