Outgoing Alberta Barley Chairman Matt Sawyer announced the launch of the #Farmermodel conversation Thursday morning at the organization’s Annual General Meeting in Banff, Alberta.

The conversation which has been launched into the twittersphere and social media world with the hashtag #farmermodel is encouraging farmers to have their say on cereal breeding and research.

Sawyer tells Rural Roots Canada farmers need to have their say when there is so much change going on.

“We’ve got changes to the varietal registration you know we have Bill-C18 coming up, which is UPOV-91, there’s going to be a lot changes to our industry the Farmer Model was to engage farmers and get them to engage in the discussion going forward of where they want to see our industry go and what type of funding model works for them.”

Sawyer says it is easy to get involved.

If you look at www.albertabarley.com and I’m not sure about the other websites for the other organizations, but Google it, talk to your local representatives say that you want to get engaged, and get involved it is a wonderful learning process and you know you have to start somewhere.

The initiative follows a workshop in Calgary in late June involving researchers, producers and ag stakeholders talking about the future of research funding in the country.

The workshop entitled “The Farmer Model: Building a Framework For Endpoint Royalties” resulted in a consensus that any future research model must be farmer directed, if it is farmer funded — either through end point royalties, levies or another value capture system.

In particular, three questions are being asked of farmers:

1. How should farmers be involved in research funding?
2. How should the funds be collected and what is the “value capture” system?
3. Who should be in charge of collecting and managing the funding dollars?

The “must haves” and “must not haves” will be pulled from the conversations and used in moving the initiative forward.

A second meeting #farmermodel is scheduled to happen early next year.

For the complete report and to have your say into the #FarmerModel report go to albertabarley.com/farmermodeld