The Alberta Canola Conference kicked off yesterday in Lethbridge.

Producers taking part in the group's AGM heard the details of a spear-phishing attack that occurred in August.

Alberta Canola has implemented new ongoing cyber security training for staff and directors following a spear-phishing attack in August.

Director Ian Chitwood says payment for one invoice was diverted to a fraudulent account, the attack was discovered when the perpetrators tried a second attempt.

"Our bank was notified. A portion of the stolen funds were recovered from the fraud department, and a police report was filed."

He notes that Grant Thornton's Risk and Forensic Services reviewed the organizations' internal controls and improvements were made.

Alberta Canola has also applied for cyber insurance.

Chair Roger Chevraux says there still is a police investigation going on so they, unfortunately, can't disclose everything.

"We want to be absolutely 100 per cent transparent to all of our producers, to make sure that they don't ever feel that we are hiding anything from them, at any point in time. There is a good news story in a way, in that yes, we did get attacked, but our systems that we had in place at that time caught it right away."

He notes that the amount of money in question, relative to the budget was very, very, very small.

During the AGM on Tuesday, canola growers also saw a changing of the guard as four directors who completed their term positions moved on.

Don Doll from District 1 is being replaced by Christi Friesen, John Mayko from Region 4 is being replaced by Jeannette Andrashewski, Mike Ammeter of District 7 is being replaced by Paula Law, while Cheryl Westman will replace Cale Staden in District 10.

Chevraux says canola is grown across Alberta and understanding the needs of growers in all regions is key to having the board make the best decisions to guide the organization.

"Farmers have the opportunity to elect 12 regional member directors, and this is kind of unique to Alberta Canola. We have 12 regions that are very defined in our regulations that allow us to have representation for all parts of the province."