Government pledges funds for agricultural societies

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The provincial government says it’s changing the grant formula to help agricultural societies, which have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Part of the funding for ag societies is based on events they hold.

“As a result of COVID-19, most of these events did not happen, which is why Agriculture and Forestry changed the 2021-22 funding formula and has expedited the grant process,” the government said in a release. “Alberta’s government will still provide an additional operating grant by calculating the previous five-year average funding per organization.”

That means the 283 ag societies in the province will “receive their $17,500 base grant, plus the new five-year average variable operating grant,” the province said.

The seven regional agricultural societies will receive a $298,853 base grant, plus the new five-year average variable operating grant up to a maximum of $100,000.

The government is also streamlining the application process.

“Grants will be processed this spring, starting in May, to get these much-needed funds out to dedicated volunteers across the province,” the government release said.

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