Big Lakes County allots more money to boost assistant ag fieldman’s role

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County has added money to turn the assistant agricultural fieldman position into a full-time job.
At its regular meeting March 9, council agreed to reallocate $12,500 from the agricultural rental program to upgrade the position to full time from part time.
The motion also added $19,000 in the 2022 budget to supplement the remaining costs of the full-time position.
At its regular meeting Dec. 8, council passed a recommendation to terminate the rental program by Dec. 31, 2024.
Council also approved a second recommendation in December that $12,500 for the rental program remaining in the interim budget would be reallocated in the agricultural department in the final budget.
To make it a full-time position, an additional $31,500 would have to be allocated to the position with $12,500 from the rental program and an extra $19,000 in the final budget, said Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services.
The agriculture advisory committee passed a recommendation at its meeting March 3 to redirect the funds to create a full-time assistant ag fieldman position.
“The rational behind the decision is that making this position full time garners better and more qualified applications,” Hawken said.
Making it full time will provide more consistency in the position and no longer require the county to recruit for the eight-month position every year.
Upgrading to full time, the position can serve in a back-up role for the agricultural fieldman when that person is away or the position is vacant, he added.
Currently, the county is recruiting to fill vacancies for both an agricultural fieldman and an assistant agricultural fieldman.

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