Big Lakes County Council declared a Municipal Agricultural Disaster at the September 8, 2021, Council Meeting.
Big Lakes County’s decision to declare a Municipal Agricultural Disaster was made to bring attention to the drought conditions that have severely impacted Producers throughout Big Lakes County.
“Big Lakes County relies predominately on Agriculture, with many residents depending upon that industry to live and raise their families,” comments Big Lakes County Reeve Ken Matthews. “After a drier than normal winter, our Agricultural Producers were hit with record breaking heatwaves and a lack of seasonal rainfall. All this combined has resulted in premature ripening of crops, and in some places even complete crop failures with yields and quality that are likely to be poor.”
Lack of seasonal rainfall combined with a record-breaking heatwave in June and July have heavily impacted all sectors of agriculture. Pasture conditions throughout the region are 63.5 percent poor, hay is rated at 59 percent poor, and crop rated at 13 percent good to excellent.
“These unprecedented seasonal events have forced our producers to make tough decisions like having to use viable crops for feed and even reducing their herds,” continues the Reeve. “Producers from the area are even predicting they will need to start feeding livestock a month earlier than normal. We hope that the Provincial and Federal Governments understand the exceptional hardships placed upon producers this year, and that they comprehend the value that our Agricultural Industry adds to our local, Canadian, and global economy.”
Big Lakes County Council realizes the hard work and significant financial commitment producers make to grow successful crops. Through their declaration of a Municipal Agricultural Disaster, Council hopes that the Government of Alberta considers aiding our producers in the form of increased financial aid and increased access to mental health recourses. In doing so, the County hopes to ensure the continued viability of the agricultural sector in our area and Alberta.
Mental Health Resources
Help Line: 1-877-303-2642 or Dial 811. One in 5 Canadians, including Albertans will experience a mental illness in their lifetime and the remaining four will be affected by the mental health issues of a loved one.
A 24-hour distress line for Northern Alberta: 1-800-232-7288
As the nationwide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience, and support recovery from mental illness.
Do More Ag is a not-for-profit organization focusing on mental health in agriculture across Canada.
Bronte Collett, Communications Coordinator [email protected]
(780) 523 5955