Agriculture in the County of Stettler has an optimistic future, says Quinton Beaumont, who became the new director of agricultural services in late November.
“The County of Stettler is experiencing growth in the hobby farm and acreage start-ups and I believe that creating mutually beneficial programs and services for the county’s entire population is a key component of taking our communities to the next level of responsible environmental and agriculture management,” said Beaumont, who served several years in a similar position with the County of Paintearth, neighouring the eastern border of Stettler county.
“I am excited to see what the future for agriculture will bring and how we can take advantage of all the opportunities this area offers.”
While he also helps to manage the county’s health and safety program, he is committed to building agriculture and partnerships.
“I am very much looking forward to working with the various agriculture stakeholders in the County of Stettler,” “said Beaumont.
As director of agricultural services, he is responsible for the operations and management of the Agricultural Services Board program, supervises all ASB employees and programs to ensure smooth operation, and to provide any changes to improve the operation.
“I feel that I have many great ideas to contribute and that I can really make a positive impact on the state of agriculture in this area,” said Beaumont.
“Agriculture is the backbone of county and it is important that it stays on the leading edge of innovation and operational practices.”
He is committed to ensure that producers, farmers and agriculture related industries all work together towards this goal.
“I feel that communication is a key part of this process,” said Beaumont, who has a top priority to continue to build communication and relationships with ratepayers and landowners about issues such as creating awareness of and enforcing the control of weeds, insects, and diseases and encouraging their management.
His agricultural roots and service are deeply rooted.
“I have always been a part of agriculture in one aspect or another, from working on the family farm, to working at Chinook Applied Research Association as the conservation technician throughout college and for two years after.”
In 2000, he ventured onto Three Cross Feedlot near Airdrie and worked up to assistant manager of the feedlot.
Shortly after he married his wife Lisa in 2006, Beaumont moved to Castor, he became employed with the County of Paintearth as the assistant agricultural fieldman, a position he held the last five years.
Formerly titled the agricultural serviceman, the director of agricultural services serves under the Agricultural Service Board regulated provincially to administer the provincial acts of the ASB, weed control, soil conservation, agricultural pests and bylaws and policies of the local ASB.
Comprised of all county council members, the ASB works together with the director of agricultural services to address current and local issues affecting agricultural production and develop policies and implement programs to benefit farmers and the environment.
The board meets regularly on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. and meetings are open to all citizens.
The director also recommends to council and the ASB to purchase, replace and dispose capital machinery, equipment and vehicles and the director also involved in reclamation activities.
Both the director of agricultural services and ASB respond to public enquiries and concerns about ASB issues, programs and services.