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Ag service resolutions aim to improve industry


Tuesday, Feb 06, 2018 06:00 am By: Dan Singleton

Resolutions passed at the recent Alberta AgriculturalService Board (ASB) conference should help improve the agriculture industry inthis region and across the province, say officials.

In all, 12 resolutions were considered at the conference,which was held in mid-January and was attended by several members of theMountain View County agricultural service board.

Brian Rodger, chairman of the local board, said he waspleased with several of the resolutions, including one regarding proposed taxchanges that could impact farms and farm families.

The resolutions were officially released by the provincialASB last week. Those resolutions include the following:

  • One resolution passed called on Alberta Agriculture andForestry, and the premier, to “advocate for the family farm and smallbusinesses of Alberta to revoke the proposed tax changes in the ‘Tax PlanningUsing Private Corporations’ document released by the federal Department ofFinance.”

The background note accompanying the resolution stated, inpart, that “The proposed changes threaten the viability of farmers and theirfamily farms and have potential implications for the amount of tax farmers payand could penalize farmers for trying to keep family farms within the family byestablishing farm corporations.”

  • Another resolution passed saw Alberta agricultural serviceboards request that the funding provided by Alberta Agriculture and Forestryalign with the provincial government’s fiscal year of April 1 until March 31 toensure that rural municipalities are able to maintain their extension andeducation programs while retaining professional staff.

The background note accompanying the resolution stated, inpart, that, “Every three years when the grant funding program expires,municipalities will need to apply and wait to hear if and when the funding isavailable, leaving some municipal employees in limbo while waiting to hear iftheir grant was successful in getting funding.”

  • Another resolution passed called on Alberta Agricultureand Forestry to advocate for “clear and concise labelling and testing ofproducts claiming organic authenticity” and that “testing by the Canadian FoodInspection Agency be increased to assure all products sold in Canada withorganic claims are relevant.”

  • Another resolution passed called on Alberta Agricultureand Parks to “immediately implement a permanent program, with adequateallocation of staff and funds, for weed control on vacant public lands withingreen areas as part of a comprehensive framework to address invasive species inAlberta.”

The background note accompanying the resolution stated, inpart, that, “weeds are known to disrupt and potentially destroy natural habitats,putting wildlife habitat at risk.”

  • Another resolution passed called on the government to“enhance predator compensation program that could utilize trained municipalproblem wildlife staff to assist in the confirmation of livestock loss, bothlivestock death and livestock injury in a timely and prompt manner.”

  • Another resolution passed called on the province to“review its poultry products regulations to allow farm direct marketers to usetheir own uninspected eggs in the processed products, provided these productsare sold directly to the end consumer and that the farm direct marketer followstandard food safety handling procedures.”

The background note accompanying that resolution stated, inpart, that “the local food movement is growing in Alberta and local producersare marketing protein and baked goods directly to consumers through U-pickoperations, farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture.”

  • One resolution that was defeated called on AlbertaAgriculture and Forestry to amend the Agricultural Pests Act and applicableregulations to require all persons to report any instances of Norway rat andwild boar when at large, as well as clubroot, to the local authority.

The background note accompanying that resolution stated, inpart, that the new notification rules would “improve the local authority’sability to deal with these (pests), and benefit the people, agricultureindustry and enhance environmental protection of the province.”

The passed resolutions will be used by the provincial ASB tolobby the government for related action.

“Resolutions bring forward issues to make suggestions orrecommendations for future action to bring about desired change,” countyadministration said in a briefing note that came before the recent MVC agriculturalservice board meeting.

Chairman Rodger said he was pleased with the recent ASBconference and believes it was worthwhile attending.

“There was an excellent delegation of speakers,” Rodgersaid. “There was a great presentation about the TB outbreak in southeasternAlberta and how it was handled from the start of the original cow herd to howthese producers coped with the loss of their entire cow herds.

“All the presentations were applicable to the entireagricultural and rural communities of Alberta.”

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