The Agribusiness and Agritourism Task Force of Sturgeon County has received six new members: Tama Andersen, Richard Boissonneau, David Benjestorf, Deb Foisy, Mark Chuiko, Andrew Rosychuk, and Cathy Gilbert.
At the end of its ten-month term, the task force will advise the County Council on how best to support Agri-tourism and agribusiness in Sturgeon County. To this end, the group will review best practices in agribusiness and Agri-tourism regulation at the local, provincial and national levels and identify the needs and expectations of businesses and landowners in Sturgeon County.
Sturgeon County has a long history of agriculture and still has a strong agricultural base. According to the most recent agricultural census (2016), the total gross income of the agricultural sector was $ 230 million, with 377,722 acres believed to have been cultivated. The Agri-Food and Agri-Tourism Analysis Working Group will seek ways to support this important sector and capitalize on the growing interest in supplying and sourcing local food and related services.
Sturgeon County’s agriculture is its backbone, and there is an increasing demand for local products and services. The new Task Force is a strong mix of people from different backgrounds who will represent a wide range of agricultural perspectives.
Mayor Alanna Hnativ
The nine-member task force includes two board members and seven public members. Division 5 Councilor Patrick D. Taige and Division 3 Councilor Wayne Bockenfort will represent the Council as members of the task force, and Mayor Alanna Hnativ will be an ex-officio member.
At the first meeting, held on June 8, 2021, the Task Force elected Cathy Gilbert as President and Councilor Wayne Bockenfort as Vice-President.
“I am honored to not only be a part of the task force but also to be its chair and to thank the group for the trust it has placed in me,” said Cathy Gilbert. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I think we have the right team to prepare a report that will give the Council directions for the future of agribusiness and agrotourism in the county.”
The Agribusiness and Agrotourism Task Force will meet regularly over the next ten months while meeting with locals, economic, landowners, producers, operators, and others and key groups in the Agroindustry and Agri-tourism sectors.
I want to thank everyone who applied to be on the task force and I want to encourage everyone in Sturgeon County to come to the engagement sessions and send us your thoughts and ideas. By working together, we will continue to develop our agro-industrial and Agri-tourism sectors in a responsible and mutually beneficial manner.