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“This is a very special award. Looking at the previous list of recipients and those inducted today, I really am humbled to be included in this group of Albertans who have given so much to agriculture in this province,” says Bruce Beattie. “I truly believe that what I have received from my involvement far exceeds what I gave, and I feel privileged to have met and worked with so many amazing people.”
Beattie has been a constant driving force in the evolution of Alberta’s dairy industry for over 50 years. Through his work with numerous industry organizations, including Alberta Milk, the Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee, Alberta Farm Animal Care and the Dairy Nutrition Council, he has lead various initiatives to ensure continual improvement, modernization and unity in the dairy industry and agriculture sector.
As well as his farm duties, Beattie began working as a local representative for the Red Deer Milk Producers Association and provided a dedicated commitment to continual improvement of organizational structure and governance with a long list of agriculture producer-focused groups and organizations. Over the course of the next 20 years, he worked tirelessly with various local dairy organizations to shape and modernize what is now known as Alberta Milk.
Through his leadership and guidance, Beattie helped lead them through fundamental structural change in how dairy products are produced, transported and marketed in Alberta. This transformation resulted in a milk producers group with society status evolving into a provincially recognized entity under the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act. The provincial recognition allowed Alberta Milk’s enhanced standing to provide guidance and development of the Alberta quota production system.
Beattie’s leadership and support was crucial in increasing the research check-off dollars, and the establishment of the Alberta Milk Dairy Research Endowment Fund. The check-off increase helped establish and support the Dairy Research and Technology Centre’s Strategic plan while the endowment offered a significant boost to dairy research.
While the primary focus of Beattie's dedication to agriculture was on the dairy industry, his passion and involvement has had a lasting effect on many sectors of agriculture. The advancement of animal welfare and environmental initiatives, specifically focused on agriculture, are directly linked to his work. In addition, as chair of the Alberta Products Marketing Council, Beattie led a governance overhaul that strengthened the relationship between producers and processors.
Beattie’s leadership helped develop the Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture (AESA) Council and the AESA Program. AESA made significant contributions to increasing awareness about environmental issues in the industry, and set the foundation for broader partnerships to work together to achieve environmentally sound management systems and competitiveness.
After 20 years of involvement in federal and provincial agricultural initiatives, Beattie took on a larger role with shaping agriculture within his own community. He served as a member and chair on the Mountain View County Agriculture Service Board, and 11 years as Mountain View County councillor serving as reeve for 10 years. While engaged in municipal politics, Beattie applied an agricultural lens to all decisions of council and acted as the foremost champion to support and enhance the local agricultural industry.
Bruce Beattie joins Simone Demers-Collins and Jack Lewis as the 2022 inductees into the Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame.
For more information, see:
Alberta Agriculture Hall of Fame
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