ATHABASCA/BARRHEAD/WESTLOCK — There is just over a week left to apply for grants under a federal-provincial program aimed at assisting livestock producers who have had to alter their usual grazing practices for more than 21 days due to drought conditions.
On Jan. 25, it was announced that eligibility within the 2023 Canada-Alberta Drought Livestock Assistance Initiative has been expanded to 23 new regions, including Athabasca, Barrhead, Westlock, Thorhild, Lac Ste. Anne and Woodlands County.
Livestock producers in these eligible regions can apply for financial support to cover losses incurred while managing and maintaining female breeding animals such as cattle, bison, horses, elk, sheep, goats, alpacas, yak, musk ox, deer, water buffalo and llamas.
A minimum of 15 animals per type of livestock are required to qualify for the grants, with applicants receiving payments of up to $150 per head.
The application deadline has been extended to Feb. 22, 2024, though extraordinary costs can occur until March 31, 2024.
“Producers across Alberta faced significant challenges last season, so I’m glad we’ve been able to work with the Government of Alberta to expand this AgriRecovery initiative to 23 additional municipalities that were impacted by the drought,” said Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay.
“We’re also updating the designated regions for the 2023 Livestock Tax Deferral to give more producers access to the support they need.”
Funding for this joint AgriRecovery initiative is provided through the Sustainable Canadian Agriculture Partnership, while administration is handled by the Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC).
Darryl Kay, chief executive officer for the AFSC, said last year was tough on Alberta’s producers and the expansion of the initiative will allow more producers to receive critical support for their breeding herds.
“Going into 2024, AFSC is ready to help producers manage their risks and support Alberta’s agriculture industry.”
In order to apply for the Drought Livestock Assistance Initiative, producers must go to the AFSC website and follow the instructions spelled out at: AgriRecovery - Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (afsc.ca).