Help is as close as the telephone.
The Ag-Info Centre provides valuable services to Alberta’s agriculture community, simply by calling 310-3276 or 310-Farm. When going through the Rite system, there are no long distance charges.
Barry Yaremcio is a beef and forage specialist and says there are a number of people at the Ag-Info Centre who deal with specific areas of importance to the agriculture industry.
“We’ve got agriculture economists, beef and forage specialists, crop specialists and soil fertility people. Each has their own specialty. If you need some help with a breakeven point, marketing for the cows, prices of hay, our economists can help. If you have grass to be rejuvenated or re-seeded — you want some advice on varieties or management techniques, how to improve the yield of the grass or even management of the pasture so that you can get more pounds of grass per acres or the number of grazing days per acre — we’ve got people who can help you.
“My specialty is working with animal nutrition. With these lower quality forages that we have this year we’re finding a lot of people are not sure how much grain to feed or what kind of supplements to use.”
Yaremcio also says the Ag-Info Centre is there for people to contact should they have concerns. “There might be a situation where they’re not quite sure if the neighbour’s cattle look a bit too thin or something doesn’t look right. They want to help but they don’t want to get involved. They’ve got the ALERT Line through Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC) but if they don’t want to get involved directly, they can call the Ag-Info Centre. The call will be redirected to one of the beef and forage specialists if it’s related to livestock. We’d take down the information and then pass it along to AFAC.”
Although it is preferable to have first-hand information from someone who has witnessed the situation, some callers insist they remain anonymous.
The Ag-Info Centre and the ALERT Line will work to ensure animal care standards are being met.
The ALERT Line (1-800-506-2273) is a confidential seven day a week, 24-hour line which quickly addresses concerns should anyone feel farm animals might be in a stressful situation.