Phase One of Kneehill’s Economic Outlook series approved by council | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 21 May 2024 12am

Phase One of Kneehill’s Economic Outlook series approved by council

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Kneehill County has developed an Economic Outlook series that will focus on different initiatives to help identify and understand the County’s economic challenges.

At the Tuesday, April 9 Council Meeting, Economic and Development officer, Jenna Kester, presented council members with a Request for Decision to discuss the first phase of the series. The whole concept of which is to create a working group to discuss the economic challenges the County might face, how the residents can adapt to any future changes and how Council can support the future of Kneehill County through the changes expected to happen.

“I bring to you today a new series of initiatives that the Economic Development Department is working on and are focusing on different sectors of industry in our region,” explains Kester.

The first initiative will focus on Agriculture, split into Grain and Livestock, with research and discussion happening around what is needed to prepare for the future of the industry. Other industries, such as Oil and Gas, and Tourism, will be part of other initiatives focused on at a later date.

The County is looking to create a Working Group, recruiting group members via social media, to work alongside industry specialists on these projects. The first working group will consist of two council members and three to four members that are landowners in the agricultural industry within Kneehill. The time commitment for those involved will be four meetings per year, with members receiving a per diem and mileage. The budget that council approved for the first phase of the Economic Outlook plan is $7,200.

Within the current state of agriculture in the County, they will look at the industry and the possible opportunities and investment strategies, finding ways to better enhance the local economy. By looking at sustainability, the burdens farmers face, and at different marketing opportunities, they hope to improve their environmental footprint while creating an environment within Kneehill’s Agricultural Industry that is adaptable to change. The group's findings will be outlined and reported to Council upon completion of the phase.

There will be qualified industry representatives that will be booked as guest speakers to assist the Working Group.

“We have been in contact with a few industry reps, who are still yet to be determined. As we know our dates and who is available, we can then book for those meetings,” confirms Kester.

Phase One, which will begin this coming fall, will focus on environmental factors, equipment, industry regulations and succession planning. Phase Two, involving livestock, will begin in Spring 2025.

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