Smoky River Ag Society holds its annual general meeting

Express Staff

The Smoky River Ag Society held their annual general meeting at the Falher Hotel in the evening of Nov. 30.

Here are excerpts of President Linda Dionne Marcoux’s report.

As I look at the first year of my three-year term coming to an end, I reflect on all of the exciting things our society has accomplished. It is all because of you; directors, members and volunteers that we are able to provide multiple activities within our communities, despite barriers and financial constraints.

The year started with meeting and conferences, attending the regional meeting in Bezanson last year in October has provided some of the executive members with numerous tools and leadership skills to maintain the momentum of our ag society. The November leadership summit in Calgary has been particularly helpful to me in providing constant guidance while holding a governance position.

The Alberta Association of Agricultural Conference in Edmonton (The Story Never Told) was at its best last February 2017. Six directors had the opportunity to attend and taking on some of the different workshops or sesssions provided during the two-and-a-half day conference. As you read the reports in the annual package, you will feel the enthusiasm and all the positive energy each and everyone gained from the conference.

The Smoky River Trade Show held in Falher on March 17 and 18, 2017. The committee and directors have been working hard on the planning, preparing and holding a table in the curling arena.

I (commend) all of the directors for all their participation during the Farm Safety Day held at the Knights of Columbus, as I know everyone worked hard in making sure it was a great success. Numerous families from different communities have attended the event, you will hear further on the Farm Safety report.

May events: On May 13, the event “Spring in Bloom” was put on by our ag society in collaboration with Dan the Stikman, building “Family” boxes. Nine participants braved the cold and rainy weather coming to build their boxes that afternoon under our poll shed. It was a fun activity which could be repeated indoors in the future.

Bike safety event: “Keep on Rolling” was held in three schools on May 30 and 31. Three-hundred and nine students attended the events, two volunteers in collaboration with Alberta Health Services, Health Promotion, Alberta Brain Injury Prevention and French Services held presentations, quiz and practices.

Numerous kids brought their bikes and helmets at Ecole Heritage to participate. We sponsored two helmet gift cards per school, which were drawn in each school to the students’ excitement.

Summer brought numerous uncertainties with a very low financial, no grant, limited activities, along with (the) lack of volunteers. horse boarding, picnic tables, bleachers and arena rentals kept our society in good but minimal standing financially. Despite the adversity, but with the extreme hard work and involvement of numerous directors and members of the mud bogs committee, the event took place on the August long weekend…

In the past two months, I attended the Trade Fair in McLennan on September 23 and was at the table for that event. This opened the door for much public relations and long conversations, sharing past histories of our agricultural society, also with numerous members from different communities.

During the regional meeting held in the past month in DeBolt, on October 28, it became obvious agricultural societies struggled throughout the season, some folded, (others) cancelled their activitiesand even some society directors funded their summer activities. Our agricultural society will need to be proactive and try to provide some programs at a less cost within budget, but with more dividend return if the society wants to remain vibrant, active and continue providing activities for our young families within our surround communities.

As we are all aware and in this era of low economics, not knowing what the future (holds) is unsettling, but we need to move forward as our families and communities are most important. Looking forward to continue working on initiating new programs for the year 2017-2018.

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