CN promotes grain handling prowess, establishes 'Agricultural Advisory Council'

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MONTREAL — As part of its commitment to enable the growth of Canadian natural resources supply chains, Canadian National is pleased to announce that it has published its 2019 to 2020 Grain Plan and that it has established a CN Agricultural Advisory Council.

The Grain Plan reviews CN’s performance during the previous crop year, which was a CN all-time record, assesses CN’s ability to move anticipated levels of grain during the upcoming crop year, and it identifies specific steps that CN is taking to ensure it has the necessary capacity to move grain efficiently. For the second year, CN will again voluntarily update the plan on a monthly basis to ensure transparency and accountability.

The Grain Plan is developed through consultations with grain industry stakeholders. During June and July, CN proactively consulted with leaders of major farming and commodity organizations and customers, seeking their input into the Grain Plan for the 2019 to 2020 crop year. CN also published an open invitation on its website seeking comments on its draft Grain Plan from interested individuals and stakeholders.

To help entrench CN’s culture of stakeholder engagement and to formalize ongoing consultations with diverse members of the agricultural industry, CN is pleased to announce the creation of an Agricultural Advisory Council, a first for a Canadian railway. The Council will be one of the main consultative bodies to provide CN with advice on the CN Annual Grain Plan and feedback on the CN Winter Plan. It will also serve as a forum to discuss policy issues that impact the agricultural industry, including the international trade situation, regulatory barriers and other emerging issues.

“CN moved over 27.5 million metric tons of grain during the 2018-2019 crop year and broke several records, further demonstrating that by working together with members of the agricultural sector, we can achieve great things,” said Sean Finn, executive vice-president, corporate services, and chief legal officer of CN. “After having the opportunity, over the past few years, of meeting with farm leaders and agricultural groups, the creation of an advisory council became an obvious way to keep the discussion going on how to better serve our agriculture partners. We want them to raise issues and offer us unbiased and honest perspectives on what works, what does not, what needs to be improved and what are key future trends. We look forward to working closely with them and listening to their concerns and advice.”

“It is important to have farmers at the table when it comes to improving services that impact them directly,” said Alanna Koch, chair of the CN Agriculture Advisory Council. “I welcome the opportunity to work with CN to ensure that the path of building strong relationships with growers and key agriculture stakeholders continues and that it adds value to improving the supply chain.”

About the 2019-2020 Grain Plan

During the 2018 to 2019 crop year, CN set an all-time record with grain movement in bulk hoppers totaling over 27.5 million metric tons of grain, as compared to the previous record of 26 million metric tons set in 2016 to 2017, and compared to 25 million metric tons in 2017 to 2018. Furthermore, CN moved another impressive 1 million metric tons of grain by container with our growing intermodal grain service offering, putting our combined total well over 28 million metric tons.

As prairie crop yield potential is steadily trending upwards, CN will continue to increase capacity in order to meet this growing demand. As a result, CN is increasing its maximum sustainable supply chain capacity for CN supplied equipment by adding 150 car spottings per week in both winter and non-winter seasons. CN is prepared to meet the transportation needs of its grain customers for the 2019 to 2020 crop year and beyond.

About the CN Agricultural Advisory Council

The Council is composed of 10 representatives from the agricultural sector as well as CN representatives and will meet on a quarterly basis to offer an ongoing forum for improved information exchange between CN and the agriculture sector.

Saskatchewan Members:
Alanna Koch, Edenwold, Farmer, Consultant, Former Saskatchewan Agriculture Deputy Minister (Chair, CN Agricultural Advisory Committee)
Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel, Mossbank, Director, Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association, Public Speaker on Ag Advocacy
Todd Lewis, Gray, President, Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan
Jim Wickett, Rosetown, Chair, Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association

Manitoba Members:
Fred Greig, Reston, Chair, Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association, Former Director, Manitoba Pulse Growers Association
Paul Orsak, Russell, Former Director, Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association

Alberta Members:
Dave Bishop, Barons, Chair, Alberta Barley Commission, Regional Representative, Alberta Wheat Commission
Jeff Nielsen, Olds, Chair, Grain Growers of Canada, Director, Alberta Barley Commission
Bernie Schoorlemmer, Rycroft, Former Director, Alberta Pulse Growers

British Columbia Member:
Barry Follensbee, Rolla, Director, BC Grain Producers Association. Former Director, Canadian Canola Growers Association

Council Advisors:
Dale Eisler, Senior Policy Fellow, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina
Kim McConnell, Founder, AdFarm

More information is available online. 

— A Canadian National news release. Aug. 1, 2019

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