Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - February 6, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
-Tuesday, February 6, 1973 - THE LETHBr.lDGZ HE.tALD - 9 JOE'S MOBILE HOMES LTD. 1st Avenue, 32nd St. South on Hiway No. 3 Going East Phone 326-0166 or 328-0181 Farm diversification aim of program The federal and Alberta governments have agreed to spend $13.3 million between now and ]&75 on programs designed to encourage farm diversification and rural development in the province, with the possibility that a further $5.9 million will be spent after that date. Don Jamieson, federal minister of regional economic expansion, and Dr., Hugh Horner, provincial agriculture minister, announced the new programs were being introduced in accordance with the terms of an agreement under the Agricultural and Rural Development Act (ARDA). In this, as in the case of the two previous ARDA agreements, the province will be responsible for the implementation of the programs, while their costs will be shared equally between the two levels of government. While spending approved, at the present time is only $13.3 million, Mr. Jamieson and Dr. Horner said that the effectiveness of the various programs will be evaluated in the period to 1975. Depending on the results of this evaluation, some or all of the programs may be extended beyond that date, at additional spending of up to $5.9 million. The new programs are divided into two groups, the first of which involves measures designed primarily to improve incomes from small farms and ranches, largely through expansion and improvement of the livestock industry. Total expenditures are expected to be $7.6 million to 1975. The second group of programs involves action to improve land capability through reforestation of burned and cut-over Crown lands and the acquisition of marginal agricultural lands for conversion to such uses as wildlife habitat, recreation, or water conservation. Cost of these programs is expected to be $5.6 million. RANGE IMPROVEMENT This program will apply to _both public and private land and provide grants to help low income farmers or small ranchers improve the livestock-carrying capacity of rangelarids which they own or lease from the provincial government. Eligible improvements include breaking and seeding to grass. Advice and assistance in planning such improvements will be available from the provincial government. Grants for a farmer who has both owned and leased land could range up to $4,500. GRAZING RESERVES This program is designed to improve the livestock-carrying capacity of 57,000 acres of land now included in 20 provincial grazing reserves. Improvements, which will be carried out by the province, will include brush clearing, grassing, fencing and establishment of water supplies. It is expected that such improvements will allow an increase in the number of livestock grazed on these lands by low-income members of grazing associations. FORAGE CROP IMPROVEMENT The purpose of this program is to encourage sound practices in the production and utilization of forage crops. The program will operate in two ways. Direct grants of up to $200 per farm operation will be made available to the individual farmer to assist in meeting the cost of additional labor and materials needed to improve forage crop production. Grants will also be made available to a region or district of up to one-third of the costs involved in the implementation of special forage crop extension programs. LIVESTOCK WATER SUPPLY This program is designed to facilitate farm diversification into livestock by assisting in the development of farm water services. It will make incentive grants up to a maximum of $500 per farm available to those who show need for such improvements and will also provide technical assistance in the planning and development of adequate water supply and distribution systems. VETERINARY CLINICS This program provides for the construction of eight large animal clinics in centers located in those pails of the province where improved veterinary services are required. RURAL INFORMATION This program will sponsor community seminars and courses to inform rural people about factors responsible for changes taking place in agriculture and in rural life, and to help take advantage of various programs designed to meet problems resulting from such changes. Particular emphasis will be given under the program to areas where farm incomes are lowest and the need for adjustment is most evident. MARKET RESEARCH This program will support research to identify and develop potential market opportunities for a variety of agricultural products. It is also designed to provide information to farmers about possibilities for increased income from the production of various crops. Dr. Horner said that, at-though his department would have the basic responsibility for implementing the program, other provincial departments such as environment and lands and forests would also be involved in the operation of individual prigrams. Federal - provincial co - ordination of various programs under the agreement will be provided through the establishment of an ARDA committee composed of representatives of the two governments. Federal' representation on tins committee will include, besides DREE, the Canada department of ag-griculture. ROP J. A Wardrop of Winnipeg, Man., has been appointed inspection standards officer for the Record of Performance program directed by Agriculture Canada's Livestock Divisions. He will be dealing with district production officers who supervise a 235-mam federal inspection staff across Canada. GOODS DEPT. 606-608 3rd AVENUE S. 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