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Agricultural board examines equipment rental procedure

Majority of Mountain View County equipment renters choose pasture sprayers

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s agriculture service board (ASB) has reviewed and commented on proposed updates to the municipality's recent equipment policy and procedure.

The review came during the recent regularly scheduled board meeting, held in person and online.

The equipment rental program is administered by the ASB, and has been developed to provide Mountain View County (MVC) taxpayers with access to agriculture equipment not available through local rental centres.

“This program sees good uptake from the county residents, with the majority of the use being through the pasture sprayers,” said Chad Verpy, manager of agricultural service.

The proposed updated Policy & Procedure #6314 County Equipment Rental policy, Section 4 now reads: “Renters are required to abide by the terms of the county requiem rental procedure. Renters that do no adhere to this policy and/or procedure may be denied access to future rental equipment at the sole discretion of the chief administrative officer or designate.”

Additions are also proposed to the schedule of equipment available for rental and now includes skid mount sprayers, backpack/handheld sprayers, wire roller, hay probe, skunk trap, plastic mulch applicator, tree planter and cattle weigh scale.

Members carried a motion saying they had reviewed the policy and procedure and are sending it to the county’s governance review committee for consideration.

The ASB is made up of county councillors and appointed members of the local agriculture community. It is currently chaired by producer Brian Rodger.

During the Oct. 16 meeting, members were given a review of the recent ALUS Western Hub Field conference held Sept. 26-28 in Sundre and Bearberry.

ALUS is a national program that sees partner municipalities help producers with projects such as wetland restoration and enhancement, riparian buffers, shelterbelts, afforestation, and native prairie grass restoration.

“The conference has provided a great networking opportunity, bringing together ALUS communities from across the province and also national ALUS staff with approximately 50 people in attendance,” he said. 

The conference saw three local ALUS participants showcase their projects as part of the field tour, while Cows & Fish and the Grey Wooded Forage Association delivered presentations.

The conference saw former Mountain View County Reeve Bruce Beattie recognized for his years-long advocacy for agriculture, community and environment, members heard.

The board approved a request for a $150 sponsorship of the Living in the Natural Environment Event in the Municipal District of Bighorn No. 8.

“This annual forum brings together 120-150 members of the rural and small urban community, government and non-agricultural rural residents to discuss topics that are thought provoking and action initiating,” he said.

The event takes place on Feb. 2, 2024 and is scheduled to include a presentation on feral pigs.

“This presentation will dive into the subject of invasive species, the history of wild boar at large in Alberta, the risks and threats they pose to our environment and economy, what is being done and what you can do to help,” Kendra Tippe, with MD of Bighorn, said in a letter to the ASB.

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