June 28, 2019

AgSafe Alberta Advisors — Meet The Team!

AgSafe Alberta is fortunate to have a small but mighty team of Advisors who are helping to ensure we are supporting a culture of safety on farms and ranches in Alberta through information, education, and training. The collective experience of our Advisors is a real asset when it comes to thinking outside the box to help producers find ways to control and mitigate hazards on their operations in ways that are both practical and efficient.

Maria Champagne

baby on the famr
Maria Champagne

Coming from a farming and ranching background and being a current cow calf producer who also raises horses, chickens, and goats, Maria brings lots of practical experience to her role as an Advisor. She is a certified Health and Safety professional and an Animal Health technician. Maria is also a former primary care paramedic and fire medical responder/volunteer firefighter.

“My background in farming allows me to understand the challenges in Agriculture and keeping safety applications practical at the farmgate. My background in rural emergency response allows me to help producers develop emergency response plans for their operations — operations that are often in remote rural locations with limited resources.”

Helping producers build a farm safety plan that captures the uniqueness of their operation and helping them build a stronger safety culture are key reasons why Maria enjoys being an Advisor for AgSafe Alberta.

Sherri Marthaller

baby on the famr
Sherri Marthaller

Sherri holds a business degree from the University of Wyoming and has been operating a health and safety consulting business in the High River area since 2014. Prior to this, she spent 22 years working for Cargill Meat Solutions in a number of management roles, with the last being Safety Manager for the High River location. Sherri’s love for agriculture started with her growing up on the six-generation family cattle and sheep ranch in Wyoming.

Being an AgSafe Alberta Advisor allows Sherri to share her extensive safety knowledge and experience with the Agriculture industry, as Alberta producers begin the journey of formalizing their safety practices. AgSafe Alberta has given her the opportunity to connect with those operations wanting to work on their safety programs and navigate the Alberta OH&S Act, Regulation and Code. She brings a practical approach to what can be a very complex and demanding process.

“AgSafe provides an industry-approach solution for farm and ranch safety compliance. It’s there to educate, lead, and provide assistance to the specific needs of farmers and ranchers in Alberta. I believe all farmers and ranchers want their family members and employees to work injury-free. I’ve recently seen a change in how some farmers and ranchers evaluate the hazards on their operations and the additional steps they’re willing to take to ensure a safe work environment for all.”

Rob Pedersen

baby on the famr
Rob Pedersen

Rob has been in the technology field since 1985 and has been in the technical safety end of it for the past 10 years. During this period, he also studied continuous improvement and found the two disciplines were closely related. Rob has been an active HAZMAT emergency responder for the last six years and remains so. He also brings advanced rescue to the table with Level 3 Confined Space rescue training.

“My passion for safety leads me to look for opportunities where a safety gap exists. Through AgSafe Alberta, I believe we make a difference in areas that have previously gone unnoticed, such as chemical handling, machine safety, and confined space.

It’s all about continuously improving and what better area to improve than safety?”

A fact all our Advisors agree on is that farming and ranching continue to change to meet current market demands, and expectations around sustainable management systems is part of the equation. Safety management systems are beginning to be a part of this demand as well. Training, worker competency, and hazard recognition are some of the practices that make a difference. In the end, it comes down to managing risk exposure, investing in the future, and protecting the business. The team at AgSafe Alberta is here to help Alberta’s farmers and ranchers do just that.