Agricultural Service Board Facts and History

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  • In 1944, some municipalities met with the provincial Department of Agriculture to discuss ways and means of dealing with weed control and conservation issues.
  • April 12, 1944--The Municipal District of Conrich (now Rocky View) holds the first Agricultural Service Board meeting in Alberta.
  • The County of Red Deer becomes the second ASB in the province on January 1, 1945.
  • February 1945--The Agricultural Service Boards Act becomes law in Alberta.
  • The counties of St. Paul and Beaver are the first ASBs to form after the legislation is passed respectively on February 15 and February 17, 1945.
  • A total of 13 Agricultural Service Boards were formed during the first year, 1945.
  • Program emphasis between 1945 and 1947 was weed and brush control and soil conservation.
  • $1,000 was the maximum grant provided to ASBs in 1945. During the '60s the maximum rose to $3,000. By 1971, the figures was $11,000. In the early 1980s grants peaked with aggressive boards receiving over $100,000.
  • Between 1949 and 1957 ASB programming moved into roadside seeding, tree planting, encouraging seed cleaning plants, seed handling policies, and livestock improvement programs disease control (TB, bangs and warbles)
  • 1955--Some 38 Agricultural Service Boards operate in the province.
  • March 12, 1957--Association of Municipal District and County Field Supervisors (Alberta) incorporation certificate issues.
  • In the late 1950s ASBs got involved in supplying septic tank forms; supplying portable livestock scales and chutes; buying and using tree planters and grass seeders; operating herbicide and pesticide sprayers; providing soil test probes; building and distributing predator bird traps; making dehorning devices available; handling and sale of herbicides; draining projects; gopher control; and, drainage projects.
  • 1965--The number of Agricultural Service Boards reaches 55.
  • Starting in the 1960s ASBs had more direct involvement in extension activities through public meetings, field days, newsletters and press releases. This extension role also extended to providing facilities, equipment and assistance to provincial extension personnel.
  • February 29, 1968--The Association of Alberta Agricultural Fieldmen is incorporated and replaces the former field supervisors group.
  • May 1, 1974--Gloria Nelson, the first female fieldman, is hired by Special Area No. 4.
  • 1975--The number of Agricultural Service Boards stays constant at 60 between 1971 and 1977.
  • The mid-1980s brought the start of a series of federal/provincial soil conservation agreements. ASBs applied for research, applied research and demonstration project funding.
  • 1985--During the Agricultural Service Boards' 40th anniversary year there are 67 operating boards.
  • The M.D. of Ranchland was the most recent ASB to be incorporated in 1995.
  • 1997--There are 71 ASBs in operation in the province.
  • In 2003, ASBs and the AAMD&C submitted resolutions requesting "an increase" in the amount of the ASB grant funding. A review of the level of funding was undertaken and as a result of the review a 110% increase to the program budget was committed in 2005. $150,000 is the maximum grant provided to ASBs.
  • 2005 - ASBs celebrate 60 years of continuous service to producers in Alberta.
  • 2008 - There are 69 ASBs operating under the legislation of the Agricultural Service Board Act.
  • 2010 - Crowsnest Pass forms 70th Agricultural Service Board
  • 2010 - ASB/AESA grant program merged
  • 2012 - ASB grant funding level was increased by $1,000,000.00
  • 2015 - ASBs celebrate 70 years of continuous service to producers in Alberta
This information is provided by:
Pam Retzloff , Program Assistant
Agricultural Service Board Program
Room 201, 7000 - 113 Street
Edmonton, Alberta
T6H 5T6
Phone: 780-427-4213 Fax: 780-422-7755
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Pam Retzloff.
This information published to the web on April 23, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on December 18, 2017.