County wants better value from beef group

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County is committing funding to build the beef industry.

At its regular meeting May 22, council approved a funding request of $30,000 from the Peace Country Beef and Forage Association.

Council is eager to make sure the association provides more services in the municipality that contributes the most funding and has the most members.

“We feel there’s not enough being done in this area,” North Gilwood – Triangle Councillor Ken Matthews says.

He also wants the High Prairie satellite office open longer than two days a week.

“If we’re the biggest contributor and have the most members, why should the local office be open only two days a week?” Matthews asks.

A councillor in the agricultural field agrees.

“It’s being under-utilized for what we contribute,” Prairie Echo – Salt Prairie Councillor David Marx says.

The main office is located in Fairview.

An agreement between the county and the association expires at the end of 2019.

County CAO Jordan Panasiuk says the county and association will start to review the agreement in the coming months.

“They do provide a number of services,” says Ted Hickey, director of community and protective services.

An agreement was signed to ensure the association meets requirements of the Agricultural Service Board, he says.

“To this point, the organization has met requirements under the agreement,” Hickey says.

The requirements include 14 workshops and two tours in the county and other activities for local producers.

The funding request supports research and extension services of results for producers.

At its regular meeting Feb. 13, county learned more about the benefits of PCBFA after listening to a presentation by manager Liisa Jeffrey.

She says the PCBFA has 43 members in Big Lakes Country, about 18 per cent of total membership.

Two of the 10 board members include treasurer John Prinse, of Enilda, and south zone director Kelvin Krahn, of High Prairie.

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