The Alberta Dairy Farmers’ Association has asked the provincial government to extend its subsidy for dairy insurance to all dairy farmers, including those who have not yet received a subsidy.

The group wants the insurance benefit to extend to all farmers across the province.

In a letter to Agriculture Minister Don MacKay, the association said Alberta is “now a major player in the dairy insurance market” and it is “very pleased” to see Alberta taking this step.

“We are very excited to see that the federal government is listening to the concerns and that we are now on a pathway to have a federal dairy insurance subsidy for all Alberta farmers,” said Lori Gorman, the Alberta association’s executive director.

Alberta Dairy Farmers Association president Jim DeWitt, who wrote to MacKay in September, said the province has been waiting for the federal subsidy extension since the fall of 2015.

He said the association has been looking for the insurance subsidy to be extended for several years.

While the extension is a big step forward, he said Alberta still has a lot of work to do.

The association is concerned that the extension will cause some farm workers to be unable to work for a few weeks at a time, said Gorman.

She added that it’s too early to know how long the subsidy will last.

“The Alberta dairy industry is a highly competitive sector,” she said.

“If we want to grow, we need to be able to attract and retain more and more dairy farmers.”

The Alberta Dairy Industry Association has been asking the federal and provincial governments to extend the subsidy since the dairy industry was created in the mid-1990s.

It’s the industry’s largest trade association.