Tara Sawyer has always been interested in ag politics. Even when her kids were very young, dinner conversations centred around governance and policy. She was keen to join a commodity board, but her priorities were farm and family. During this time, she attended meetings and conferences alongside her husband Matt, who has served on multiple boards. As her children grew more independent, the timing was right, she said. Five years ago, without a word to her family, she put her name forward to serve as an Alberta Barley director-at-large. “I never thought you had the right to complain if you’re not willing to put in the work,” she said. “I felt an obligation to contribute. It’s important for farmers’ voices to be at the table.” In 2019 she was elected the first female chair of Alberta Barley and now serves as Alberta Grains interim chair.