2007 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions

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This Week
Resolution #1Oil & Gas Ground Disturbance Activities - Defeated
Resolution #2Applied Research Association Funding
Resolution #3Canada Seeds Act Review
Resolution #4Cattle Identification Credit to Herd of Origin
Resolution #5Cattle Identification Tag - Defeated
Resolution #6Tax Code Amendments to Facilitate Sale of Farm Assets
Resolution #7Deer Population Control
Resolution #8Roadside Mowing is a Weed Control Method
Resolution #9PFRA Staffing
Resolution #10Clubroot
Resolution #11ALPAC Foreign Ownership of Land Exemption - Defeated

Resolution #1
Oil and Gas Ground Disturbance Activities

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that the EUB require resource development companies that construct or reclaim oil and gas well sites to fence off these sites for a period of two years after the construction and/or reclamation activities have been completed.


Resolution #2
Applied Research Association Funding

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development establish a consistent level of core funding to Agricultural Research and Forage Associations.

Alberta Agriculture and Food
The Agriculture Opportunity Fund (AOF) was created in 2002 to provide program funding to all not-for-profit societies that are delivering programs that increase profitability at the farm level and enhance agri-business opportunities. AOF is program-based and as such does not provide core funding. Applied Research Associations (ARAs) and Forage Associations (FAs) are encouraged to continue to create partnerships within the community and to deliver programs that will benefit their clients and that are consistent with the goals of AOF. For the 2006/07 funding year, AOF provided 3 year funding to ARAs and FAs who deliver the programs as described in their application.

Alberta Agriculture and Food (AF) continues to support provincial coordination and collaboration of ARAs and FAs by funding the Agriculture Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA). AF provided $1.5 million to ARECA in September 2006 to distribute to their members for improvements to the capital infrastructure of each association.

In addition, program funding flows to ARAs and FAs through the Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture Program (AESA). In September 2006, $700,000 was made available to ARECA to manage through an application process for additional environmentally sustainable agriculture programs.

Resolution #3
Canada Seeds Act Review

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development work with CFIA to include Bird Seed under CFIA legislation and initiate a review of the Canada Seeds Act to restrict the sale of Wildflower Mix and Bird Seed that contains prohibited noxious and all classes of primary and secondary noxious weeds as designated under the Canada Seeds Act.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) appreciates the interest of the Alberta Provincial Agricultural Service Board in the Seed Program.

As you may be aware, wildflower mixes are regulated under the Seeds Act. Bird seed is not regulated under this act because it is not intended for planting; however, it is subject to regulation under the Plant Protection Act.

The Seed Program Modernization Initiative – currently underway – has identified noxious weed seed issues as a matter of concern. In addition, as part of our Invasive Alien Species Program, under the Plant Protection Act, we have initiated studies of both bird seed and wildflower mixes as pathways for the introduction of invasive plants or weeds. Both have been identified as a means by which seeds of unwanted plants may unintentionally be distributed. A CFIA review of the Seeds Regulations (with a specific focus on weed seed issues), as well as the Weed Seeds Order, is foreseen over the next year.

The CFIA plans to work closely with the provinces and with other stakeholders to develop practical and effective policies and programs in order to reduce the harm posed by noxious weed seeds, whether found in seeds (Seeds Act) or in other products (Plant Protection Act).

Over the coming year, as part of an overall national framework for dealing with invasive plants, we will be seeking input and advice from our partners in other federal departments and provincial ministries on appropriate means of addressing the issues you have raised.

Alberta Agriculture and Food
Suggestions for improvements to the Canada Seeds Act and Seeds Regulations are currently being solicited as part of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) consultation on the “Proposal to Facilitate the Modernization of the Seed Regulatory Framework.” Due to a high level of interest, the consultation process has been extended to March 31, 2007. Alberta Agriculture and Food is supportive of your proposed changes but final determination of any changes to this Act and regulations remains with CFIA.

Resolution #4
Cattle Identification Credit to Herd of Origin

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that the mandatory cattle identification system, now under development, includes the provision for final grade information transfer back to the Herd of Origin. Providing a management tool that would improve herd quality and command a better price for our beef.

Alberta Agriculture and Food
The Canadian beef industry established the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and initiated a traceback system designed for the containment and eradication of disease.

The cattle identification program started January 1, 2001, when all cattle leaving the herd of origin were required to be tagged with an approved CCIA tag. This is mandatory, through federal legislation enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Age verification is a big step forward for our cattle industry; producers have recognized its importance and have begun providing information on their cattle to CCIA. CCIA indicates that more than 3.7 million birth dates from across Canada have been registered since the program began in 2001.

There is no doubt that the demand for traceability is growing in both international and domestic markets. Our industry is moving toward traceability targets so that it can maintain and improve market access. This includes targeting age verification for all young cattle slaughtered in Alberta plants. All calves born from 2006 onward should be age verified and recorded with CCIA.

Labour, tag costs and responsibility for identifying livestock falls to the herd of origin producer. This investment of time and money is crucial to the creation and maintenance of a system and certainly benefits those further along the chain. Significant investment in infrastructure has also been and will continue to be made by packing plants and feedlots to ensure a functioning traceability system.

However, many cow calf producers have expressed dissatisfaction over bearing the cost of tagging, and investing time to register birth dates while not seeing any tangible benefit. While premiums have been paid by packers back to feedlots, little has found its way to the cow calf sector.

We believe that in addition to market access, a functioning traceability system will provide other benefits to the industry. We continue to have discussions with industry to enable information to come back to producers on such things as weight, grade and age of animals at slaughter as well as other production information. This information is valuable to producers in their breeding, feeding and management programs.

Typically, packing plants provide carcass information on a lot basis back to producers who are part of specific branded product programs. To this point, plants have not been willing to provide carcass information back to herd of origin and have stated that carcass information alone does not provide a complete picture in the absence of production related information after the animal leaves the herd of origin.

As a traceability system evolves, Alberta Agriculture and Food will continue to work with industry and the Federal Government toward a system that meets crisis management needs and provides benefit to all players in the chain whether that be from expanded markets, enhanced competitiveness or two way, broader more complete use of valuable information by all industry. In addition, we will continue to work with packers to address your requests for carcass information. I would encourage you to work with the Alberta Beef Producers and the Cattle Industry Council to address carcass information requests by the cow/calf sector.

Resolution #5
Cattle Identification Tag

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency offer a dual purpose RFID tag large enough for the producer to inscribe his herd numbers onto the tag.


Resolution #6
Tax Code Amendments to Facilitate Sale of Farm Assets

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request the Department of Finance Canada to amend pertinent tax codes to enhance the application of the Capital Gains Reserve for farm property transactions to arms length individuals

And further be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that the tax code regarding capital gains reserve be enhanced to extend the application of capital gains reserve from 10 years to 20 years

And further be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that the tax code regarding the sale of qualified agricultural inventory be permitted to include the ability of a seller financing the sale of their inventory over a period of time to qualified purchasers.

Canada Revenue Agency
On behalf of Mr. Michel Dorais, Commissioner of the Canada Revenue Agency, I would like to thank you for your letter received on March 7, 2007.

Please be assured that your views have been carefully considered. As the issue you raise falls within the responsibilities of the Honourable James M. Flaherty, Minister of Finance, I have forwarded a copy of your correspondence to his office for consideration.

Resolution #7
Deer Population Control

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and Alberta Sustainable Resources Development (ASRD) restructure the Alberta Hunting Draw System to address the extremely high deer numbers in some Wildlife Management Units (WMU’s). This could be done by making X amount (determined by ASRD) of antlerless tags available to eligible hunters after the Draw System has been completed for people wanting extra tags, unsuccessful draws and non draw applications.

Alberta Sustainable Resources Development
Sustainable Resource Development establishes hunting season dates and harvest quotas based on a number of criteria. In areas where the number of hunters need to be managed and when harvest numbers need to be controlled, hunting licences are issued through the special hunting draw system.

In 2006, over 25,000 special licences for antlerless mule deer and antlerless white-tailed deer were made available through the draw process. To achieve harvest levels, many of these licences were issued with up to four tags instead of the usual one tag, and in some areas, season dates were extended by three weeks. In any of the areas where the licences available exceeded the number of draw applicants, the surplus licences were made available through an undersubscribed process. This process allows anyone eligible for the special licence to obtain it on a first-come first-served basis, whether they had applied through the draw or not.

If deer populations are excessively high in an area or where additional harvest is desired, licences are also made available as a quota licence. The purchase of a quota licence is not restricted by the number of other licences held by the hunter for that hunting season, does not affect a draw applicant’s priority level and is available at a reduced cost of $9.

Earlier this year, a unique situation occurred in Wildlife Management Unit 526, near Fairview. Severe ungulate depredation was being experienced by producers in the area. In an attempt to reduce the number of deer causing depredation, 150 quota licences with four tags per licence were made available to hunters from February 4, 2007 to March 4, 2007.

In conclusion, wildlife managers will use several options that are available for issuing additional hunting licences in areas where the ungulate population is determined to be too high.

Alberta Agriculture and Food
Concerns regarding the current Alberta Hunting Draw System have been well presented and Alberta Agriculture and Food is supportive of exploring the proposed changes that have been suggested. However, final determination of any changes to this program remains with Sustainable Resource Development.

Resolution #8
Roadside Mowing is a Weed Control Method

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development recognize roadside mowing as an acceptable weed control method and as such, provide funding through the ASB Grant at the same level as the other Core Activities.

Alberta Agriculture and Food
Input from stakeholders during the review of the ASB grant program helped justify the increase in grant dollars in 2005. During that review process the majority of ASBs ranked roadside mowing as a priority within their municipality, however, when asked to prioritize programs and services relative to cost-sharing expectations with the province, roadside mowing dropped significantly in ranking. In addition, there is considerable debate as to the primary objective of roadside mowing and the overall effectiveness of weed control. A roadside mowing program serves many purposes such as enhancing or improving aesthetics, visibility, safety, snow removal, grading, etc. Also, several ASBs deliver this program through their Public Works department and would not benefit from cost-sharing, or if cost-shared the roadside mowing program could potentially consume a significant portion of the ASB grant. For these reasons, along with trying to make the biggest impact with a limited budget, such as supporting programs and services that are mutually beneficial to the province, municipalities and the producers, roadside mowing was not considered an eligible item.

Another recommendation from the 2005 report was to review the ASB Grant Program every five years, which would mean the next review would take place in 2010. Therefore this is the timeline we will consider with respect to potentially cost-sharing a roadside mowing program. However, in order to assess the situation we would appreciate your support in providing us with the financial information for individual ASB roadside mowing programs for the 2008 and 2009 program years. With this information we will be better positioned to assess the liability and impact of funding the roadside mowing program would have on the ASB Grant program and if acceptable consider an arrangement in 2010.

Resolution #9
PFRA Staffing

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that the federal government reconsider their direction and re-staff these PFRA offices to an appropriate number that will allow programs to be carried out efficiently before their connection to the community is lost.

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Response received from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was verbal and shared with the Provincial ASB Committee.

Alberta Agriculture and Food
The Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) is involved in numerous initiatives within Alberta providing expertise and programs at the local level. Their value in rural Alberta has been clearly demonstrated over the years and we appreciate your concern. However, as in any organization, budgets and staffing are the responsibility of that organization. We will try to create opportunities to bring forward your message in the appropriate federal and provincial discussions.

Resolution #10

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that the Minister of Alberta Agriculture Food and Rural Development declare Clubroot as a pest and include it in the Agricultural Pests Act.

Alberta Agriculture and Food
Alberta Agriculture and Food (AF) is also concerned about this disease and its potential adverse effects on the canola industry.

Since the initial discovery of clubroot in the fall of 2003, AF has been involved in surveying of canola fields and market gardens for this disease and has been increasing awareness through factsheets, posters, presentations at producer and industry meetings, articles in farm magazines, and interviews on AF’s radio program, Call of the Land. AF is working in partnership with Dr. Stephen Strelkov, a plant pathologist at the University of Alberta, on research identifying and managing this disease in canola.

AF will soon have clubroot added as a declared pest under the Agricultural Pests Act (APA). This will allow pest inspectors such as the municipal Agricultural Fieldmen, the ability to inspect canola fields for the presence of clubroot and issue notices to landowners to prevent the establishment of or to prevent the spread of the pest.

Resolution #11
ALPAC Foreign Ownership of Land Exemption

Be it resolved: That Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards request that the condition imposed by Al-Pac’s Order in Council #59/2003 on lands leased for tree production remain at the 80 acre limit on all parcels of land with a farmland capability rating higher than 51.



Other Documents in the Series

  2010 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2009 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2008 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2007 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions - Current Document
2006 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2005 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2004 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2003 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2002 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2001 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2000 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
1999 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
1998 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Pam Retzloff.
This information published to the web on February 12, 2007.
Last Reviewed/Revised on July 16, 2011.