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Updated resolution calls for more rural veterinary students

Mountain View County's agricultural service board streamlines submission for Nov. 1 Central Region ASB provincial conference

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s agricultural service board (ASB) has continued its efforts in support of improving veterinary education opportunities in the province, and in particular the need for more rural students to enter the animal care medical field.

During the board’s recent, regularly scheduled meeting, held in person and on Zoom, members reviewed and approved an updated resolution for the upcoming Central Alberta Agricultural Service Board conference.

Amendments to an original resolution prepared by county councillor and ASB member Dr. Gord Krebs were discussed by board members on Sept. 19 and brought back to the Oct. 12 board meeting by administration.

The original resolution was submitted and approved by the Rural Municipalities of Alberta. It called for the government of Alberta to “improve veterinary education opportunities and officially support the development of new programs at the University of Calgary veterinary medicine faculty (UCVM) through actions that include development of a rural practitioner stream.

“Veterinary medicine is critical to rural Alberta’s economy, rural community sustainability and quality of life via its contributions to agriculture, food safety and animal health and welfare.”

The resolution has now been streamlined for submission to the Nov. 1 Central Region ASB provincial conference.

The updated resolution states, in part: “The Alberta’s Agriculture Service Boards request that the government of Alberta aid the crisis of rural veterinary shortage by improving veterinary education opportunities for rural Alberta student by providing for rural acuity in the admission of student into the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

“It has been shown that students originating from rural areas and/or having significant interest in and experience with rural veterinary practice and rural lifestyle are far more likely to locate and be successful in rural veterinary practice.”

The ASB made up of county council members and appointed members of the local agriculture community. It advocates for the region’s agricultural community.

It is estimated that there are currently at least 864 veterinary professional vacancies in Alberta, including 377 veterinarians, members heard.

Review ongoing regarding lease lands

Meanwhile, commission members have provided the county with a response as part of an ongoing review of the county’s policy regarding the lease of county-owned lands.

“Mountain View County council has requested written feedback from the agricultural service board regarding policy/procedure 6302 agriculture lease of MVC owned property,” administration said in a briefing note to the board. 

During its meeting Oct. 17 members discussed lease length, limited term or renewals of land lease, selection criteria for tenders/proposals, and limitations to tendering all leases.

Following the discussion, members passed a motion stating: “That the ASB respond to council’s request for comment on Policy 6302 with discussion for open procurement for land leases with a five-year term with an option for an additional five-year term and pricing adjustments at time of extension.”

This year, revenue collected from leases of county-owned property range from $750 to $14,500, with a total of $93,215 being brought in, members heard.

Made up of county councillors and appointed members of the public, the ASB has four principal roles, including being an advisory body to county council and the provincial minister of agriculture.

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