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Alberta Agriculture assessing help for flood-impacted B.C. producers: Horner

Federal, provincial ag ministers answer questions while at Olds College today
MVT Olds college ag ministers tour
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau and Nate Horner, minister of Alberta Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development toured the Olds College Smart Farm this morning (Nov. 18). Pictured, from left, are Olds College student Julie Cobb, Bibeau, Olds College student Brody Nestorovich and Horner. Photo courtesy of Olds College/Sergei Belski

OLDS - Alberta Agriculture and Forestry officials are in contact and working closely with their counterparts in B.C. regarding assistance to flood-impacted producers, says Nate Horner, Alberta’s new minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development.

During a press conference at Olds College on Thursday morning (Nov. 18), Horner was asked what Alberta is doing to help.

“We are digging into that right now to find out,” said Horner. “Our department is working with the B.C. department of agriculture. Their original ask was help with their provincial veterinary lab, which is currently under water.

“Our team is working with them to see how we can assess their needs. Whether that means taking up diagnostic tests or actual animals, they are figuring that out today.

“The other ask from Premier Hogan to Premier Kenney was around feed. So we have been in contact with the Canadian Federation of  Agriculture. They have some feed on the go and we are looking for more. Our feed challenges are well documented so that could be difficult but we are seeing what we can do.”

Massive flooding in the Lower Mainland of B.C. has caused large-scale problems for dairy producers and others.

Federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Horner were at Olds College on Thursday morning for a tour of the school’s SmartFarm.

Asked about the status of federal government aid to B.C., Bibeau said, “Our emergency response crews are in the field right now and obviously we are working together with other departments. We are looking at ways of how we can support.”

Both Horner and Bibeau said governments are working with rail companies and others to address the disruption in rail and road traffic caused by the B.C. flooding.

Meanwhile, Bibeau says the tour of the Olds College Smart Farm highlighted its value for students.

“Students at Olds are getting the chance to work on  the most digitally advanced technologies that are driving a more sustainable system of agriculture,” said Bibeau. 

“We are immensely proud of the role taken by the college and the world-leading research collaborations they are forging.”

Horner added, “From practical on-farm applications to advanced technical training, Olds College is helping build Alberta’s modern agriculture sector.” 

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