The kits are intended to use playtime to instil a lifelong appreciation for agricultural safety and set children up to act as safety ambassadors on their farms. Among each kit’s contents is an adjustable, CSA Z96-15 compliant child‘s safety vest.
While the nation expects agriculture to contribute to long-range carbon emissions reductions targets, agriculture has made huge gains in sustainability since the early 1990s. Naturally, farmers are frustrated by the lack of recognition for these positive developments.
An industry-led organization formed in 2018, AgSafe Alberta works with farmers and ranchers to improve the safety of their operations. GrainsWest spoke with Jody Wacowich, the organization’s executive director, about the launch of FARMERS CARE, a farm safety program that will eventually feature four bite-sized levels.
On a bright but chilly day last October, Nevin Rosaasen, Alberta Pulse Growers (APG) sustainability and government relations lead, and Hayley Webster, the commission’s Adaptation Resilience Training project assistant, made their way to a small slough on Hannah Konschuh’s farm near Cluny. Konschuh, a former Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC) director, joined them for the short hike down from an adjacent dirt road to examine this modest, semi-permanent wetland.
Thirty years ago, streambanks and shores were not valued to the extent they are now. This changed in the early 1990s, when a handful of agricultural landowners recognized the need to better manage these riparian landscapes. In kitchen table sessions, they formulated a vision with support from the Alberta Cattle Commission, now known as Alberta Beef Producers. The ABP rightly predicted the rising importance of riparian stewardship and determined the agriculture sector should lead its management.
Of all the variables in agriculture, from prices and pests to supplies and sun, water is perhaps the most difficult to manage. Most Alberta farmers may prefer to forget the 2021 season, which illustrated just how damaging a lack of it can be. In southern Alberta, drought can be mitigated by irrigation, and local scientists are at work to improve the practice.
Irrigation aside, there is typically no remedy for drought, but a number of abiotic stress management products now or soon to be on the market may give crops a fighting chance against dry conditions. Certain of these crop inputs purport to help plants tolerate heat, drought, chill and salinity.
It has become commonplace to see farm equipment at work between power poles and in ditches where fences have been removed so the 66-foot public right-of-way can be cropped. Dubbed “trespass farming,” Alberta counties have the authority to hand out fines where this illegal practice occurs. Among its range of detrimental effects is negative impacts on game birds.