I have always been a self starter.
When I was 16, I was so eager to get started in the farming business that I took out my first Canadian Wheat Board permit book.
Farming is part of my identity and heritage. My great-great maternal grandparents homesteaded northwest of Olds, AB, in 1893, and my father’s parents immigrated to Canada from Denmark in 1925. The home quarter that they purchased south east of Olds, in 1930, is the same land I currently farm with my husband Tim (who also works as a power engineer in the oil and gas industry). Together we farm 1,200 acres of wheat, malt barley, feed barley and canola.
But farming itself wasn’t enough for me. I realized early on in my career that I wanted to lead change in the industry. I am grateful to have been elected by Alberta farmers into several senior governance roles within Western Canadian agriculture organizations in the last two decades. Some of these roles have included: President of the Western Barley Growers Association; Director for the Canadian Wheat Board and Alberta Barley Commission; and most recently Chair of the Grain Growers of Canada, representing 65,000 grains/pulse/oilseed producers.
Within these roles, I have been a liaison between Canadian farmers and all levels of government. I have worked with the agriculture industry on strategic approaches to driving change on matters important to Alberta, and represented Canadian farmers in government meetings. This experience has taught me that change is possible within the Canadian system, when it’s driven by people united by community and heart.
Previous roles representing the ag industry
- Agricore United/Corporate Director (2005-2007)
- Alberta Barley Commission/Director (2014-2020)
- Canada Grains Council/Director (2018-2020)
- Canadian Wheat Board/Corporate Director (2009-2011)
- Grain Growers of Canada/Chair & Director (2015-2020)
- United Grain Growers/Corporate Director (1999-2001)
- Western Barley Growers Association/President & Director (2002-2021)
- Western Grains Research Foundation/Director (2016-present)
Government relations experience
I have served as an advocate for Canadian farmers in Ottawa/the House of Commons and Senate through my membership with a variety of committees, including:
- AgGrowth Coalition (2017-present)
- Cereal Grains Round Table (2016-2020)
- CN Producer Advisory Council (2019-present)
- Commodity Supply Chain Table (2018-present)
- Crop Logistics Working Group (2016-present)
- Olds College Smart Farm Producer Panel (2020-present)
- Plant Breeders Rights Advisory (2016-2020)
Through these roles I’ve participated in, and appeared before, various House of Commons and Senate of Canada committees on a regular basis representing the Canadian ag industry.
My fellow Albertans,Following this week’s announcement of the results of the official Alberta Senate Nominee election, I wanted to reach out with my gratitude.Firstly, thanks to all my supporters, family, friends and fellow Albertans. So many of you reached out to me throughout my campaign and it was an honour and pleasure connecting with each […]
September 23, 2021 Olds, Alberta – I’m Jeff Nielsen, an entrepreneur, grain farmer and a strong advocate for Alberta and the Canadian agriculture industry. I believe that Alberta, and our province’s natural resources, are cornerstones of the Canadian economy – and should be recognized as such. That’s why last week I announced my candidacy for […]
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About the Senate Election
On October 18, 2021, there will be an Election in Alberta to select three Senate nominees who may be summoned to the Senate of Canada, to fill a vacancy or vacancies relating to Alberta.
This election will take place in conjunction with the 2021 Alberta Municipal Elections.
What is the senate?
The Senate is the “Upper House” of the Parliament of Canada, serving as a complementary legislative body to the Queen and the House of Commons. The Senate is meant to serve as the reviewing chamber on proposed bills before they are passed, and to issue a “sober second thought” to these decisions.
The Senate also serves a fundamental role in representing minority groups and interests, which may be underrepresented in the elected chambers, and it plays an investigative role in undertaking studies on important social and political issues facing the country, such as poverty, aging, unemployment, land use, and national defense.
How can I vote if I live in a Special Area of the province (without voting access)?
You will have to request a mail-in ballot. Instructions for how to do so here: https://specialareas.ab.ca/2021/09/provincialmailinballot/
Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments
Since 2016, Canadians submit applications to the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments. This move provided the ability for Senators to work more independent from Party lines and move the Senate forward to become increasingly nonpartisan and effective.
Jeff’s application to this Board was submitted in June of 2020. Read more here.