The County's Agriculture Services department supports the County’s mixed, cattle and grain operations through the Agricultural Service Board (ASB). Formed in 1968, the County's ASB is composed of two Councillors, three farmers and the County's agricultural fieldman. It is an advisory and advocacy group that promotes and encourages agricultural growth and good agricultural management practices in the County.
The ASB also reviews agricultural policies and makes recommendations to County Council about agricultural matters. The ASB also requests funding on behalf of agricultural groups. The board encourages environmental protection by promoting soil conservation, and directs the inspection and control of weeds, vegetation and pests. The board works in partnership with other governments, agencies and associations that have sustainable agriculture mandates such as Lakeland Agriculture Research Association, the Alberta Invasive Species Council, and Alberta Environmental Farm Plan.
To read about some of the committee's recent activities, check out their committee snapshot here:
Here are some of the programs and services offered by the County's Agricultural Services department:
- Every year the County's Agricultural Services department sells one-year old tree seedlings to County residents to beautify their yards. Seedlings will be available to order April 18, 2017. Click here to view and download the order form.
- The 2017 Wolf Incentive Pilot Program is open to trappers. If you're interested in becoming a trapper for the 2017 Wolf Incentive Program, please click here to view the County's policy, and here to view the County's procedure, including registration forms.
- Residents can grow what they want and reap what they sow in a community garden at Alexander Hamilton Park in Lac La Biche. Garden plots are assigned by the County on a first come, first served basis. Click here to view and download the application package. The application deadline is May 19, 2017.
- The County’s Integrated Vegetation Management program includes spraying from June to September to control brush and weeds along County roads. To request no spraying within 200 metres of the road allowance adjacent to your property, submit a no spray application by May 29.
- The County offers the resale of pesticide products not available through local commercial outlets to residents for residential or agricultural purposes. The chemical price list includes 36 different products.
- The Coyote Predation Management Program aims to control coyotes that are harming livestock.
- Rural property owners in the County can order shelterbelt trees at a reduced fee. The order deadline is usually the third week of May each year.
- Rural Beautification Award is awarded each year to one farmstead or acreage in the County that devotes considerable effort to improving and sustaining the physical appearance of their property. Judges look at shelterbelts, landscaping, buildings, flowers, trees, gardens and other features to determine the winner. The deadline for nominations is July 31.
- County families that have been farming or ranching for 100 years or longer are eligible to be recognized with a 100 Year Farm Family Award. Proof of continuous ownership by the same family is required as part of the application.
- Annually, two student bursaries of $1,000 each are awarded to students who are pursuing an agricultural-related career. The deadline for application is October 1. Contact Agriculture Services at 780-623-6366 for an application.
- Agriculture Appreciation Day celebrates and recognizes the great work County farmers and ranchers do. This year, the event was on June 25.
- Subsidization of veterinary services is available for farmers and ranchers unable to afford such services on their own. An application can be made at any time.
- Agricultural equipment can be rented from the County if it is not available through local commercial outlets. Examples of available equipment include post pounders, flex harrows and animal traps. Equipment rental rates are per day, or by deposit
- Periodically, the County hosts field crop demonstrations and agriculture tours and events.