JEDI AG Forum is fertile ground for Wetaskiwin region farmers

Canola production, farm transfer, grain elevator update and much more Nov. 23 in Wetaskiwin

In recognition of the agricultural community’s contribution to our region, JEDI will be hosting it’s second AG Forum on Friday, November 23 at the Wayside Inn in Wetaskiwin, with an extended registration period.

It is a free full day event with registration taking place at 8:30 a.m. and the presentations running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes lunch.

The JEDI region, which includes the County of Wetaskiwin and Town of Millet, covers an area of 3,324.87 square-kilometres (821,593 acres) of rich and fertile agricultural land. The region is both a major producer of grain and livestock and a centre for the agriculture industry, which is one of JEDI’s main target industries.

There are 954 farms located in the County of Wetaskiwin (according to the 2016 Statistics Canada Census), with total annual gross farm receipts of close to $223 million (an increase of 40% from 2011 census), total value of farm machinery and equipment value of close to $229 million and total farm capital value of $2.5 billion (an increase of 50% from 2011). As well, over 48% of farm operators report having employment in other non-farm jobs, many of which are employed within the region helping to provide services through other both ag and non-ag related businesses. Agriculture plays a vital role in our community and the spin off for all local businesses is immeasurable.

It was reported by Statistics Canada (2016) that there are 925 males and 455 females operating a farm within the County of Wetaskiwin, which most likely indicates that they are family farming operations. Farming is not just a job, it is a lifestyle that promotes families working together doing what they love to do, while providing food for local to international markets.

While cattle is the main livestock in the County of Wetaskiwn, with a reported 487 farms having a total of over 72,700 head of both beef and dairy, there is a wide range of other types of livestock farms such as sheep, chickens, bison, elk and pigs. Statistics Canada (2016) reported the top 5 crops grown in the County of Wetaskiwin as follows: Canola = 83,461 acres; Wheat = 75,895 acres; Barley = 50,575 acres; Alfalfa & Alfalfa Mixtures= 44,031 acres and Oats = 11,313 acres.

We are hoping that the AG forum can provide farmers with a day to relax and enjoy a free lunch, conversation with their neighbors and gain some knowledge on topics relevant to their every-day farming operations. The presenters will be available for some one-on-one conversation with farmers during the breaks and at the end of the forum.

Great speakers

The last AG forum was half a day and well received with the suggestion to extend the day, so this year we have expanded the event to a full day to provide a broad range of speakers and ag related topics as follows:

“Antimicrobial regulations and Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship,” Ross Foulston, veterinarian, Wetaskiwin Veterinary Hospital

“Canola production challenges & opportunities,” Dan Orchard, Agronomy Specialist, Central Alberta North, Canola Council of Canada

“We’ve Got to Do Something”: Facing your Farm Transfer Fears, Reg Shandro, Mediator, Advisor, Aggie, Farmacist Advisory Services Inc.

“What is new with Country Junction Feeds at Wetaskiwin Co-op,” Bernie Grumpelt, MSC, Nutritionist, Wetaskiwin Co-op

“The growth of herbicide resistance in weeds & integrated weed management,” Harry Brook, Crop Specialist Alberta Ag-Info Centre

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure – data measurement plan to measure your beef operations performance,” Shannon Argent, Technology Access Centre Manager, Olds College

“Learn what is available through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) and Farm Energy & Agri-Processing (FEAP) Programs,” Mike Hittinger, Stewardship Extension Specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

“Winter feeding options,” Barry Yaremcio, Beef/Forage Specialist and Trevor Wallace, Nutrient Management Specialist, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

“New Grain Handling Facility south of Wetaskiwin,” Don MacDonald, Vice President of Operations, G3 Canada Ltd.

It is open to County of Wetaskiwin and surrounding area farmers, but you must pre-register in order to attend, by going to https://jedialberta.com/ or by calling 780-361-6232. We have extended the deadline to register to Monday, November 19 to accommodate the farmers who have been busy trying to get their crops off who haven’t had a moment to think about anything else but their harvest.

To register or for more information regarding the JEDI AG Forum, visit https://jedialberta.com/ or call 780-361-6232. Be sure to follow us on Facebook @JEDIalberta or Twitter @JEDIalberta.

Submitted by Joan Miller, Director of Economic Development, Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI)

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