Rural Service Centres

Res #: 10-04M
Number: 10
Year: 2004
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No

Resolution No. 10-04M

WHEREAS, the Saskatchewan Rural Service Centres provide a valuable service to local farmers (hands-on evaluation of crop disease and insect problems, organizing producer meetings, etc.); and

WHEREAS, extension agrologists are an unbiased source of information; and

WHEREAS, these offices are a source of new information on producer programs; and

WHEREAS, problems in agriculture are specific to smaller areas than will be recognized under the new rural service centre format (e.g. Moose Jaw covering a large part of Saskatchewan);

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Provincial Government reconsider their decision to close a number of Rural Service Centres in Saskatchewan.

Response from Honourable Mark Wartman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization:

The Government of Saskatchewan does not intend to reverse its decision regarding the closure of a number of Rural Service Centres in Saskatchewan. Over the past number of years, Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization (SAFRR) engaged in discussions with farm organizations, producers and other industry stakeholders to examine ways in which programs were delivered.

The decision to consolidate the service centers into nine Agriculture Business Centres and create the Agriculture Knowledge Centre was made in light of the information we received. Producer information is available by highly specialized and qualified staff at the Agriculture Knowledge Centre (AKC). Because the AKC will be the first point of contact into the department, AKC information management systems will enable SAFRR to proactively identify and address regional and provincial emerging issues and opportunities.

Staff at the AKC work closely with regional and other provincial specialists and will partner with commodity groups to develop targeted strategies to address these issues. In addition, the nine Agriculture Business Centres have agrologists on site with crops, livestock, forage and agri-business expertise who will work with communities, organizations, producers and agri-business to develop their opportunities or help them implement growth or change in their operations.