Stettler County – Template offered for farm emergency plan

The County of Stettler Agriculture Service Board (ASB) is offering a straightforward way for producers to plan ahead for emergencies, and with dire predictions of drought in 2024 coming from all directions the help couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Stettler County ASB emergency farm plan template was presented at the regular board meeting March 27.

The ASB is comprised of members of county council and chaired by Coun. Les Stulberg.

Board members heard a report from Assistant Ag Fieldman Farrah Fischer regarding the template intended to streamline emergency preparations for an agricultural operation.

“The administration at the County of Stettler views emergency preparedness as a priority in this upcoming season,” stated Fischer’s report to the board.

“The template emergency farm plan will equip producers with a thorough template of considerations and conversations that need to be had on an individual farm level for all types of emergencies including flood, fire, traffic collisions, disease outbreaks and extreme weather events.

This planning tool focuses on emergency preparedness, active emergency plans and provides tools and information for recovery post-emergency.

“We believe that this tool is essential to promote to our producers in our municipality as it will improve safety on the farm level, and improve communications with our emergency personnel in the event of an emergency.”

Fischer provided a copy of the plan template to board members in their agenda packages. During discussion Fischer noted the County of Stettler hoped to present the plan template to participants at a March 28 fire prevention workshop.

She stated that the County of Stettler and many other agencies often encourage producers to have an emergency management plan in place for their agricultural operations, but some producers may wonder what such a plan looks like, or what it should and shouldn’t encompass. She noted this template, developed by ASB Manager of Agriculture Operations Quentin Beaumont, is a good example for local producers.

“So this is the goal for that, to help have people prepared for some of the emergencies we’re probably going to see in this upcoming season,” said Fischer.

The County of Stettler and it’s ASB has been receiving reports about the provincial moisture situation for months, including a recent update on reservoir levels that are, in some areas of Alberta, at roughly a third of what they should be at this time of year.

Reports to the board in 2023 by provincial government experts described a moisture situation that’s among the worst in many decades; the situation appears to be most dire in southern Alberta and lessens as you go north, but some moisture maps provided by the Government of Alberta showed the County of Stettler, Kneehill County, the County of Paintearth and virtually all east central Alberta rural municipalities in a low moisture situation.

The Government of Alberta has already kicked off the 2024 wildfire season which it stated was due to lower than normal precipitation and warmer than normal temperatures, making wildfires, including grassfires in agricultural areas, more likely.
Coun. Stulberg stated with the drought situation looming this seemed like the ideal time to make this emergency plan template available.

Fischer agreed, but noted the plan covers virtually any kind of emergency a farm could face, including disease outbreaks.
Stulberg added he felt efforts put into the plan were well-placed. “I think it’s really important,” said Stulberg.

Producers who want to have a look at the plan template should check out the County of Stettler’s ASB section of their website at

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.