About the Department of Agricultural Services
The Agricultural Service Board of the County of Wetaskiwin is responsible for numerous facets of promoting and sustaining agricultural production within the County’s boundaries. Legislation in the form of the Weed Control Act, the Pest Control Act, the new Water Act, the Soil Conservation Act and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act help the County set policies to ensure that producers are using sound farming practices on their land. The Service Board provides services to the ratepayers to attain the goals of the various Acts.
The Agricultural Service Board Act states that the Agricultural Service Board duties are:
- to act as an advisory body and to assist the County Council and the Minister of Agriculture, in matters of mutual concern,
- to advise on and to help organize and direct weed and pest control and soil and water conservation programs,
- to assist in the control of animal disease under the Animal Health Act,
- to promote, enhance and protect viable and sustainable agriculture with a view to improving the economic viability of the agricultural producer, and
- to promote and develop agricultural policies to meet the needs of the municipality.
The Service Board is comprised of 7 Board Members. Of the 7 Board Members 4 are County Councillors and 3 are farm members from the general public. The 7 members are: Councillor Bill Krahn, Councillor Terry Van de Kraats, Councillor Josh Bishop, Councillor Lyle Seely, Garth Parker, Mike Schmidt and Stephan Dewald. The Director of Agricultural Services, County Administrator and a Recording Secretary provide support to the Board.
The purpose of the Service Board is to implement policies and provide agricultural related programs that affect agriculture within the County's Municipal boundaries. Some of these programs include:
- Roadside Spraying
- Roadside Mowing
- Weed Inspecting
- Shelterbelt Planning and Planting
- Beaver Control
- Coyote Control
- Gopher (Ground Squirrel) Control
- Insect Identification
- Disease Identification
- Producer meetings
- Riparian Assessments
- Water Quality Testing
- General Agronomic questions