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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 1, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta 14 LETHBRIDGE HERALD Tuesday, October 1, 19.4 "Alberta has untapped food-growing and food-processing potential." PREMIER PETER LOUGHEED September 6, 1974 Soil It's our greatest non-depleting natural resource. Anything we do to strengthen the industry of agriculture helps to bring prosperity to all of us. "RtfM as RfltnT WESTERN LIMITED Canada Female agriculturist establishes South role The trial of Jennelte Coote of'Brooks has been going on for 18 months now and the jury is still out. But "Alberta's first female dis- trict agriculturist is mak- ing her impact felt in Alberta's farming com- munity. A1973 graduate from the University of Alberta, Jennette was faced with two obvious choices for the immediate future graduate studies specializ- ing in horse nutrition in the United States or a teaching job in one of Alberta's colleges which has a school of agriculture. She also applied to the Alberta department of agriculture for a job in the extension branch as a dis- trict agriculturist. She was accepted, along with another femal agriculture student who was posted to Edson. Shock Initial reaction in the Brooks area was shock, says Jennette. The farmers were hesitant at first "but they all gave me a fair trial and that trial is going oir" A lot of people came in the office "to test she says. "But any new district agriculturist gets that treatment." The job itself has proved challenging for Jennette. "Despite what I learned at school, there are a lot of holes to learn to fill quickly." She feels part of her job now is to keep pace with events as they happen. "The function of the DA isn't to know everything. If I don't know something to help a farmer, I can find out for him." Real test With her main interest centred on livestock, she finds the immense diversi- ty of agriculture in the Brooks area a real test. Farmers here are like pioneers, they aren't afraid to try almost anything, she says. The hardest part of her job is to help farmers with questions about machinery. But this area of knowledge'and others are being improved by attending as many seminars as possible, aided by Carter Curran, the other district agriculturist in the Brooks office. The important fact of her job isn't that she is a woman working as a dis- trict agriculturist. The im- portant thing to Jennette is that she is doing what she feels to be a capable job for the farmers. She wouldn't tell any woman to stay away from the job simply because of their sex. But they must like the work, that's for sure. So life goes on for Jennette. There has been no real busy season. They have all been busy. And the eyebrows aren't raised as much any more, another indication that Jennette has successfully entered the field on par with her fellow district agriculturists. Humble bee source of nourishment The humble bee is no bigger than your thumb- nail, yet she's the source of an important Alberta product: sweet, golden honey. Most agricultural production depends on a compromise between man and plants, or man and animals. With the honey bee, there's no com- promise. The small, highly socialized insect con- tinues in the natural cycle of an age old lifestyle. Tc take advantage of theit sweet produce, man must accommodate himself tc the bee's habits. Perhaps this explains the mystique of honey, man's first sweetener, beloved ol health food enthusiasts and the average homemaker. Alberta's beekeepers are regarded as unusually dedicated and capable b> American and European experts, because of oui harsh climate. In the United States, and even in southern areas of Canada, bee hives continue from one year to the next with no interruption. Naturally, no honey is produced in winter, and hive activity is minimal: but the bee colony does continue. In our colder climate, bees die at the approach of winter. The honey bee can't survive below 29 degrees Fahrenheit. Alberta beekeepers have always imported live bees in packages every spring, mainly from California and Georgia. This means a later start than for mild climate hives, yet Alberta beeyards are world famous not only for the quality of their honey, but also for their heavy yield. The expense of importing these packaged bees is ris- ing yearly, due to increas- ed labour, material, and honey costs. INSPECT1NG THE HIVE ;