Who I Am: Since 2007,Rich Smith has been working on behalf of over 20,000 cattle producers as the Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) Executive Director. Rich is responsible for working closely with the ABP Executive and its Board to help set priorities and direction for the organization. He also guides and leads ABP staff members as they address the policy, production, communication, marketing, and education issues that all help to strengthen Alberta’s beef industry. A native Calgarian, Rich is an agricultural engineer with over 33 years’ experience dealing with the policy, regulatory, stewardship and resource management issues facing livestock operations. In addition to his specific duties with ABP, Rich also contributes to a wide range of agricultural industry groups. He holds both a BSc and MSc in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Alberta.
Why I Think Agriculture is Where It’s At: I have always been proud to work in an industry that provides food for a hungry world. The science and art of food production is fascinating and my chosen profession, agricultural engineering involves the application of engineering principles to the biological systems of food production. The people in agriculture are among the best I have ever known. They make their living from the land and that connection makes them strong, hard working and farsighted. In my view, agriculture is a noble calling.
Why Ag for Life: I am impressed by the commitment of the people and companies who have created Ag for Life. They are leaders in the agriculture industry who have shown they have the same commitment to Ag for Life that farmers and ranchers have in running their own operations. I applaud the educational programming of Ag for Life, as it’s directed toward the growing need to improve the understanding of agriculture among an increasingly urban population and the strong need to improve rural and farm safety. Ag for Life is an organization of talented and dedicated people working toward important and laudable objectives.