By Nikki Jamieson
The Municipal District of Taber has received a request for help from a growing co-op based outside its boundaries.
During their regular Nov. 8 meeting, the M.D. of Taber council received a letter from the Red Hat Co-operative Ltd., which is based out of Redcliff.
In the letter, the Red Hat’s state that, due to changes to the Canada Gap Auditing standard for the greenhouse industry, they are requesting a Farmer Pesticide Training Certificate Course be offered in Redcliff for their growers, who require it for their audits, before April 1, 2017. Without the certificate, their growers will automatically fail the audit.
Therefore, they are requesting help from the M.D. to approve the training, and to held it in Redcliff.
“It’s a request from Red Hat Co-op to have Jason (Bullock, M.D. ag fieldman) to come down to Redcliff and teach the pesticide training course,” said Merril Harris, M.D. councillor. “I spoke to Jason this morning, and he would prefer that it was held in Taber.”
Red Hat is a group of over 35 farming families that banded together to grow produce. The greenhouse association started 50 years ago, and has grown from a few greenhouses to covering 150 acres worth of greenhouses.
A co-operative from Medicine Hat had previously approached the ag-service board to request the help for training, and Counc. Tom Machacek sought to clarify the difference between the two.
“When this came to the ag-service board, it was represented as the Medicine Hat co-op. That’s different from the Red Hat co-op,” said Machacek. “The Red Hat co-op is the greenhouse association. Red Hat is like the PGA, that’s for all the greenhouses.
“That explains why they need the certification probably for the vegetables,” said Brian Brewin, reeve for the M.D.
The training course for the certification would take place over five dates, and not everyone had to come on one day.
“It’s just as easy for them to come here,” said Harris. “But I don’t know if they would be using the same pesticides, as a green farmer,” said Machacek. “It may be something that is special for them.”
Council passed a motion to send the Red Hat co-op a letter, informing them of the dates the M.D. was having the course.