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County's ag service board backs tree seedling program

Shelterbelt and eco-buffer programs continue
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MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s agricultural service board (ASB) has come out in support of the annual tree seedling program to provide shelterbelt and eco-buffers in the county.

The move came by way of motions at the board’s recent regularly scheduled meeting, held by Zoom. The ASB is made up of county councillors and appointed members of the public.

Members agreed that the board will continue to work with local nurseries to promote their services through the business directory on the Mountain View County economic development website.

As well, the board will promote funding support for shelterbelts and eco-buffers through the ALUS program to farmers and through the Green Acres program to acreage residents, and the board will continue to accept the tree seedlings from Clearwater County to complete county project-based initiatives as needed.

“There is funding support through Mountain View County’s ALUS program for seedlings for shelterbelts and eco-buffer plantings at a 25 per cent cost share for producers up to a maximum of $5,000/project,” administration said in a briefing note to the board.

“The Green Acreages program administered by the Land Stewardship Centre offers funding support for native species in planting initiatives at a 50 per cent cost share to a maximum of $2,500/project. The Canadian Agricultural Partnership has also had funding available for farmers to establish shelterbelts and eco-buffers through their Environmental Stewardship program.”

Regarding tree seedlings, the note states, in part, that, “Clearwater County has ordered trees again in 2021, for delivery near the end of June or beginning of July. For 2021, Clearwater County has offered that Mountain View County could take advantage of any surplus again.”

Farm family nomination deferred

In other ASB news, members have decided to defer the nomination of a BMO Farm Family Award recipient in 2021.

The award is presented annually at the Calgary Stampede but due to the pandemic, that will not take place in 2021, members heard.

“The Calgary Stampede organizers have informed the BMO Farm Family Award participating municipalities (including Mountain View County) they have made the decision to hold off on nominations for the 2021 award and focus on providing appropriate recognition to the 2020 BMO Farm Family recipients,” administration said. 

“With the cancellation of the 2020 Stampede, the celebration of the 2020 families could not take place as planned. It is the organizer’s hope to recognize them as they plan the annual celebration this July. The will resume nominations in the fall of 2021 for celebration of farm families in 2022.”

The Don and Darlene Miller Farm was the 2020 Farm Family Award winner, being nominated and approved in June 2019.

The award is presented to farm families that are active in primary agriculture, have agriculture as the main source of income and have members residing on the farm.

Open Farm Days Supported

Meanwhile, board members have passed a motion in support of county participating farms during the Open Farm Days event and to promote a self-guided Re-Connect with the Farm Tour.

The 2021 Open Farm Days are scheduled for Aug. 14-15.

“Proposed for ASB’s consideration is to provide an additional outdoor portable toilet and handwashing station for each participating farm above the $200 subsidy provided by Open Farm Days organizers, hand sanitizer if not provided for free by organizers, provide COVID-19 prevention guidelines for each farm, and provide additional signage,” administration said. 

Safety program funding extended 

Members also approved an extension request from Ag for Life to extend the use of 2020 funds until Dec. 31.

A total of $12,500 was approved in April 2020 to go toward the Rural Safety Unit activities in the county such as education, supplies, contracted services, scholarships, equipment, installation and site preparation if required.

“The extension would afford us the opportunity to get into classrooms and communities in Mountain View County in the fall of 2021, COVID-19 permitting,” program spokesperson Beth Halford said a letter to the board.  

“We would really appreciate if this extension could be granted as we have an important message to share regarding farm and rural safety and we know that children and families in Mountain View County will benefit from this safety information,” she said.

Membes passed a motion approving the extension.

 



Dan Singleton

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