New $20 million mushroom farm to create 120 jobs

A new mushroom farm north of Calgary will create 120 jobs while helping fill the demand for local produce, farm managers said Thursday at a groundbreaking ceremony.

Highline Mushrooms announced it is investing $20 million in its second farm at Crossfield, about 50 kilometres north of Calgary.
“Our new farm expansion is moving forward thanks to our ‘Open for Business’ philosophy,” said Highline Mushrooms CEO Aaron Hamer, who added a key factor in the decision to expand was the provincial government’s pledge to address Bill 6 — Rachel Notley’s former government’s farm and ranch safety legislation.

“This directly influenced our decision to move forward on our farm expansion plans,” Hamer said. “The prior regime’s decision to delist mushroom farms as primary agriculture was a mistake. Mushrooms expand in size four per cent every hour or double in size in a single day, so our farm’s harvest demands are constant and ongoing.”
Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen — who attended the groundbreaking event — is spending time this summer travelling the province and speaking to farmers, with the goal of introducing “repeal and replace” legislation during the fall sitting of the legislature.

Earlier this summer, Dreeshen told Postmedia that details of the new legislation will depend on the outcome of the consultations, but he believes many farmers want to “step back” from the perceived excessive regulations and prescriptive nature of the current rules.
Officially named the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, Bill 6 was introduced in 2015, shortly after Notley’s NDP came to power and passed in early 2016.

Source: CalgaryHerald.com


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