AG Notes

Manitoba invests in potato processing plant

The Manitoba government is contributing almost $380,000 to a potato processing plant at the McCain Foods Canada facility in Carberry.

The funding should increase efficiency, reduce waste and support the sustainable growth of the province’s potato industry.

The plant processes 430 million pounds of Manitoba-grown potatoes a year, mostly into french fries. The upgrades are expected to reduce potato and canola oil waste by 900,000 pounds and 800,000 pounds per year, respectively.

Ten new positions are expected to be added to the processing plant over the next three years. The plant currently employs 220 people.

Horse welfare award seeks nominations

Nominations are being accepted until Feb. 19 for the Awards of Distinction for Equine Welfare.

Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Horse Federation present the annual award to recognize excellence in animal welfare and health.

Individuals, organizations and companies can be nominated. Award recipients will be honoured during the Saskatchewan Horse Federation’s annual meeting in Swift Current March 12.

Awards of Distinction will be given in four categories:

  • equine welfare innovation
  • equine welfare young steward of the future
  • equine welfare leadership
  • equine welfare communication and education

For more information, visit farmfoodcaresk.org or saskhorse.ca.

Alberta named Canada’s top honey producer

Alberta was the top honey-producing province in Canada last year, according to Statistics Canada.

The province produced 42.8 million pounds in 2015, an increase of 20.4 percent from 35.5 million lb. in 2014.

Yields increased from 125 to 145 lb. per colony.

Alberta was also the top province for bee colony numbers in 2015 with more than 295,000 colonies.

Winter mortality was 10 percent, the lowest in the past 15 years. It’s down from the national average of 16 percent and the American average of 23 percent.

The province’s farm cash receipts from honey sales are $75 million per year, in addition to $12 million per year from pollination service fees.

Provincial estimates put the market value of honey bee pollination of hybrid canola and canola crop production at $650 million.

U of S student earns major national scholarship

Sandra Moore, a PhD student in the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Environment and Sustainability, was recently awarded a $150,000 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship to study the next energy boomtown on the Prairies.

Moore examined how southwestern Saskatchewan communities are being affected by energy development and how they can avoid boom and bust cycles.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council recognizes outstanding students who have demonstrated academic excellence, research potential and leadership skills.

Moore will examine the economic, social and ecological costs and benefits of oil and gas development in Maple Creek and the traditionally agrarian-based region over several years.

Her research could help other communities in the United States and Canada make informed decisions about natural resource management and manage economic changes before they happen.

Lamb Producers announce new directors, board members

Four new directors were appointed at Alberta Lamb Producers’ annual fall meetings in Grande Prairie, Barrhead, Red Deer and Lethbridge.

There were openings on the board in four zones, with directors elected in zones 2, 3 and 6.

No nominations were received in time for the zone 1 meeting, but the board appointed a director.

Board members are:

Ray Nolan, zone 1

Phil Zaugg, zone 2

Cindy Armstrong, zone 3

Bill Gibson, zone 4

Erin Yaremko, zone 5

Darlene Stein, zone 6

Virginia Glover, zone 7

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