Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – Take a trip back through time.

The history of Agricultural Service Boards and the Association of Alberta Agriculture Fieldmen is a fascinating one.

Brent Hoyland is the Assistant Chief Administrative Officer for Flagstaff County and enjoys recounting the history of ASBs and the AAAF.

Hoyland says you have to look back to the ASB’s earliest days to find it’s greatest achievements.

“I think the first one is the formation of the association back in 1968 and the ability to have annual in-service training since 1971 so you have standardized training for all the members throughout the province,” Hoyland said.

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He says the progression of the organization has been amazing.

“I think just the progression of how things have changed in regards to equipment, regulation, people because when you consider back in 1945 when you have weed supervisors there were no females, it wasn’t until 1978 when we had our first female in the association so it’s nice to see that progression.”

The organization touches all corners of the province allowing them to bring local issues to the attention of the agriculture minister and ministry.

Hoyland says one of their greatest strengths there able to adapt to change.

“The fact we have remained consistent in what we do and we’re very responsive to the external factors that come upon us.  So (for example) if the provincial government implements a new policy we have to look at it and respond accordingly.  We like to think we are consistent in that manner being able to deal with anything that is sent to us.”

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He says they are quite proud of the relationship they have with farmers.

“I think fieldmen have a wonderful relationship with farmers because farmers will come to us when they have a problem and they know we are capable of finding a solution together.”

Representatives from Agricultural Service Boards across Alberta converged on Banff in January to discuss issues, network and celebrate 75 years.

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