Thursday, April 14, 2016

MD of Pincher Creek hosts Agricultural and Environmental Services Open House

Livestock emergency response trailer on display
Josh Davis

On Friday April 8 the MD of Pincher Creek No. 9 held an Agricultural and Environmental Services Open House at the Heritage Inn in Pincher Creek. Presenting were Alberta Farm Animal Care, Southern Alberta Grazing School for Women, Dow Agro Science, PlayCleanGo, Bio Control, the Waterton Biosphere Reserve, and Nature Conservancy Canada, including the Alberta Conservation Association. They also showed off one of the 14 Alberta Farm Animal Care’s Livestock Emergency Response Trailers that service the province. These trailers, coupled with the trained first responders, help save the lives of animals caught in a variety of livestock accidents, including but not limited to traffic accidents.

The Open House featured a tradeshow and networking all day, an update on the Growing Forward 2 plan, a presentation by the Alberta Invasive Species Council, and presentations on the topics of Pest Surveillance/Management, and Farm and Ranch Safety. Lunch was served at noon.

Tim Skuse and Karma Tiberg
Biological Control Specialist Karma Tiberg and Graduate Student Tim Skuse were there representing a table on biological control of rangeland plants, and an operational release program that is introducing non-native beneficial insects in order to suppress introduced invasive weeds. They currently have insect agents for leafy spurge, dalmantion toadflax, houndstongue, and spotted knapweed. "We are also working right now on agents for japanese knotweed, and hogstrangling vine," said Tiberg. "Those ones are more of a problem out east, but yellow toadflax is definitely one that we have throughout Alberta." She said that the program is headed Rose De Clerck-Floate, PhD, of the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, who is currently releasing even more species for field testing.

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