Agriculture Service Board
Under the direction of a local Agricultural Service Board, the County is tasked with the enforcement of various agricultural Provincial Acts & Regulations. The Government of Alberta provides funding assistance for County programs. Members of the Agricultural Service Board and the Agricultural Fieldmen, who coordinates the ASB, routinely lobby Ministers and other representatives of the Province to effect sustainable change in the agricultural industry through annual resolutions, meetings, and other means.
ASBs are made up of a cross-section of members-at-large (local agricultural producers or those interested in agriculture) and several County Councillors. Effective January 1, 2020, Big Lakes County Agricultural Service Board is comprised of three (3) Councillors and four (4) members-at-large who meet bi-monthly to discuss agricultural issues/ initiatives and county agricultural programs. In addition to these meetings, Council receives routine reports and recommendations from the Agricultural Fieldman within scheduled Council meetings.
Farming The Web
Rural Acreage Owner Program
This program was initiated to ensure rural acreage owners have access to select commercial-class herbicides to control prohibited noxious and noxious weeds as identified in the Weed Control Act.
Why A Specific Program
In June of 2020, Big Lakes County became a participating municipality to assist producers in accessing appropriate chemical controls for their weed issues. After successfully completing the Acreage Owner Pesticide Course through Lakeland College, Rural Acreage Owners will be able to:
- Manage their property to prevent noxious and prohibited noxious weeds from growing.
- Manage these regulated weeds growing on their acreage using an integrated weed management approach.
- Safely and effectively use select commercial class herbicides provided on a cost recovery basis by their municipal agricultural fieldman.
Did you know?
Alberta's Weed Control Act requires municipalities to identify more than 75 noxious and prohibited noxious weeds. Prohibited noxious weeds must be destroyed. Noxious weeds need to be controlled. A weed inspector, often the agricultural fieldman, surveys their municipality to see if there are outbreaks of a particular weed. If a noxious weed or a prohibited noxious weed is found on someone's property, they are notified. In the past, acreage owners had only 3 options to deal with these weeds:
- Use a domestic class herbicide from a garden centre you apply yourself.
- Use one of a few commercial class herbicides. These are the same product as domestic class, but in larger containers you buy from a commercial pesticide seller. These herbicides are for specific weed control in turf, non-cropland areas, shelterbelts and shrub beds.
- Hire a custom pesticide service to apply herbicides for you.
- The acreage owner program is another option. You work with your municipality to control problem weeds.
How To Qualify For This Prorgam?
- This process can be initiated by Big Lakes County Agricultural Services or by an interested Ratepayer.
- An inspection is performed on the land(s) in question to determine level of infestation and amount of chemical required. A prescription for the infestation will be completed and recorded in the application by the Agricultural Fieldman and/or Assistant Agricultural Fieldman.
- The “Rural Acreage Owner” Program application is completed, and the ratepayer is directed to enroll in the Alberta Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification Program offered by Lakeland College. The cost of the course is $75.00.
- Upon successful completion of the course, the certificate is presented to the Agricultural Service department. Agricultural Services will then provide chemical in a handheld sprayer, trailer sprayer, quad sprayer etc. as fits the situation of the ratepayer with the amount of mixed chemical required to complete control efforts.
- Chemical costs will be charged back to the ratepayer on a cost recovery basis.
- Upon completion of control efforts, the infestation will then be re-inspected to ensure control has been achieved. This will be recorded on the application form.
Mental Health Resources
Alberta Farmer Express
Serving Canada’s second-largest agricultural province, Alberta Farmer Express is widely recognized as the place where Alberta farmers and ranchers find out what’s happening in agriculture, whether it’s on local farms or on farms around the world.
Alberta Addiction and Mental Health
Help Line: 1-877-303-2642 or Dial 811
Canadian Mental Health Association
As the nationwide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience, and support recovery from mental illness.
The Do More Agriculture Foundation
Do More Ag is a not-for-profit organization focusing on mental health in agriculture across Canada.
The Support Network
24-hour Distress Lines (Northern Alberta): 1-800 232-7288 24-hour
CRISIS line providing immediate support. Call now if you or someone you know is in crisis: contemplating suicide, feeling overwhelmed, or experiencing abuse.
Calm In The Storm App
An app for coping with the stresses of life.
Sharing ideas supported by sound science and practical wisdom. Join the staff of Peace Country Beef and Forage Association, a producer directed agriculture research association, for discussions about better ways to produce food and manage your farm or ranch.