Fonds paa-3501 - Alberta. Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development fonds

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Alberta. Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development fonds

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  • Source of title proper: Annual Reports of Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

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PAA paa-3501

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  • 1887-1993 (Creation)
    Alberta. Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development

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1638.83 m of textual records

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Biographical history

Dates of Founding and/or Dissolution:;Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development began when The Alberta Act, (R.S. Chapter 3, 1906), established the Province on September 1, 1905. In a proviso that existed in the federal statute, the Agriculture Department that existed in the North West Territories was continued in the new province. This department was officially created by Alberta legislation in 1906. Functional Responsibility:;In 1906 The Agriculture Department Act, (S.A. Chapter 8, 1906) repealed and replaced the Territorial Ordinance regarding agriculture. In the new legislation the function and duties of the department remained consistent. At this time the department administered matters relating to agriculture, colonization, statistics, wildlife management and public health, including hospitals. The department's functional responsibility has evolved over time from being extensive in scope to being more focused and specialized. Many of the initial functional divisions have been transferred to other departments or discontinued and new divisions have also been created. The Alberta government began to administer health care in 1905 and organized the Public Health Branch in 1906. In 1918 the branch was transferred first to the Department of the Provincial Secretary and then to Municipal Affairs. In 1919, a Department of Public Health was established. Part of the Statistical Branch of the Department of Agriculture, which was compiling demographic information on Albertans, was transferred to the Department of Public Health in 1919. The Publicity Bureau was established under the Department of Agriculture in 1910, as an organized effort to induce settlers to locate in Alberta. In 1916 the Publicity Bureau was amalgamated with the Statistical Branch and became known as the Publicity and Statistics Branch. In 1931 the publicity and general statistics function was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Executive Council. Agricultural statistics was retained as a function of the Agricultural Extension Service. The Water Resources Branch first appears in 1954 annual report of the Department of Agriculture. The Water Resources Branch administered the Water Resources Act which provides that persons must apply for authority to divert water other than for riparian. The Water Resources Division came out of an amalgamation of the Water Resources Branch and the Colonization Branch in 1966. The Water Resources Division was transferred out of the Department of Agriculture in 1971 to the Department of the Environment. The Office of the Chief Game Guardian had its origins in a Territorial ordinance that was continued with the establishment of the new province. The Game Guardian was responsible for regulating the use and conservation of wildlife. The office took on the function of fire prevention in 1907. The Game Branch was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Department of Lands and Mines in 1936 and transferred back in 1937 as the Game and Fisheries Branch. In 1941 what had become the Fish and Game Division was transferred back to the Department of Lands and Mines. In 1914 what would become the Agricultural and Vocational Colleges Branch was established as Schools of Agriculture. The branch that later became a division under the Department of Agriculture had various name changes, although it maintained the function of education in agriculture. In 1971 the administration of Agricultural and Vocational Colleges Division was transferred to the jurisdiction of the Department of Advanced Education. The Weather Modification Board was active in the Department from its inception by Ministerial Order in 1972. The Board operated a hail suppression program and conducted hail suppression release. The Board was later replaced with the Advisory Committee on Weather Modification, which changed the function of the agency to advising the Minister in charge on all matters relating to the suppression of hail in the Province of Alberta. The Committee completed a five-year research program, which concluded in 1987. The program was directed by the Committee and operated by the Alberta Research Council. Consequently, the Alberta government took the position not to support weather modification activities because of the absence of evidence of the effectiveness of the technology for the purpose claimed. The Committee was disbanded. Civil Defence began in the province under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Agriculture. The agency operated outside of the Department of Agriculture until 1957. At this time, a report of Alberta Civil Defence was included with the annual report of the Department of Agriculture. In 1959, Civil Defence became a branch of the department. The name was changed to the Emergency Measure Organization, (EMO) in 1960 and was transferred to Public Welfare in 1962. In 1967 the EMO was once again the responsibility of the Minister of Agriculture under the Veterinary Services Division. In 1973 the Agriculture called Alberta Disaster Services Division. After 1976, the function of civil defence once again became independent of the Department of Agriculture. In 2001, the new government structure created several new departments from functions of existing ones. Agriculture, Food and Rural Development no longer controlled the administration of Public Lands. The newly created Department of Sustainable Resource Development took over this function. At the end of the 20th century the Ministry is divided into the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and a number of agencies, boards and commissions. The Department is responsible for the management of programs designed to facilitate development of all phases of the agricultural and food industry, to sustain the natural resources base of the industry and to support or complement these functions. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development's functional responsibility is rooted in the administration of a great number of Alberta Statutes. Much of the power and duties are delegated to divisions or branches within the organization. The number of acts that the department administered varied from year to year. Predecessor and Successor Bodies:;Prior to the establishment of the Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, agriculture within what would became Alberta was under the direction of the Territorial Department of Agriculture and governed by An Ordinance Respecting the Department of Agriculture, (C.O. Chapter 8, 1898). Under this ordinance the department had powers to control the administration as it related to agriculture, statistics and public health, including hospitals. Administrative Relationships:;The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development is a member of the Executive Council appointed by the Premier to head the department. The Minister of Agriculture, Food Rural Development reports to the Legislative Assembly for the department for which s/he is responsible. The Minister also submits reports received from other agencies, boards, councils and institutes that report to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. Administrative Structure:;The department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development has had a hierarchical structure since the inception of the organization. The administration structure evolved from the branches reporting to the minister to more complex reporting lines, which included branches, divisions, sectors and other entities administered by the minister, associated minister or deputy minister. The greater part of 1906 was spent organizing the first ten branches for the department. At the end of the century the department had three sectors, thirteen divisions and several other entities related to administration. The major points of re-organization for the department occurred in 1906 and again in 1972. Names of the Corporate bodies:;The Department of Agriculture was the statutory name for the department from 1906 to 1995. Annual reports have a number of variations of name for the department, which include Agricultural Department, Alberta Department of Agriculture, Alberta Agriculture, and Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. The Government Organization Act (S.A. Chapter G-8.5, 1995) repealed the Department of Agriculture Act. The new legislation states the Lieutenant Governor in Council may designate names of departments. The name changes of departments became discretionary and no longer would have to occur in amendments to legislation. In 1992 the department began to use the name Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development. Name of Chief Officers:;W. T. Finlay, 1905-1909, Duncan McLean Marshall, 1909-1921, A. J. McLean(acting), 1914-1921, George Hoaley, 1921-1934, Alexander Ross (acting), 1924, Frank T. Grisdale, 1934-1935, William Neeland Chant, 1935-1937, Charles Cathmer Ross (acting), 1935-1937, Nathan Eldon Tanner (acting), 1937, David Bertram Mullen, 1937-1940, William Allan Fallow (acting), 1937, Earnest Charles Manning (acting), 1937, Nathan Eldon Tanner (acting), 1937, Duncan Bruce MacMillian, 1940-1948, David Alton Ure, 1948-1953, Duncan Bruce MacMillian (acting), 1948-1952, Nathan Eldon Tanner (acting), 1948-1952, Clarence Edgar Gerhart (acting), 1952, Gordon Edward Taylor (acting), 1952, Alfred John Hooke (acting), 1952, Leonard Christian Halmrast, 1954-1962, Harry Edwin Strom, 1962-1968, Henry Auld Ruste, 1968-1971, Raymond Reierson (acting), 1969, Hugh Horner, 1971-1974, Marvin E. Moore, 1975-1977, Dallas W. Schmidt, 1978-1982, Leroy Fjordbotten, 1982-1985, Peter Elizinga, 1985-1988, Ernie Isley, 1988-1992, Walter Paszkowski, 1992-1996, Ed Stelmach, 1996-1998, Ty Lund, 1998-2001, Shirley McClellan, 2001--

Custodial history

Scope and content

Consist of several sous-fonds and series. Records that fall outside the date of founding which were created by the Agricultural Department of the North West Territories have been incorporated into this fonds. The sous-fonds include: Alberta Agricultural Development Corporation sous-fonds from 1957 to 1993; Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council sous-fonds from 1965 to 1991; Alberta Crop Insurance Corporation sous-fonds 1964-1969; Alberta Hail and Crop Insurance Corporation sous-fonds from 1969 to 1994; Alberta Women's Bureau sous-fonds from 1928 to 1935; Alberta Women's Institute sous-fonds from 1915 to 1929; and the Irrigation Council sous-fonds from 1921. The series include: Animal Industry Records from 1905-1988; Finance and Administration Records from 1959 to 1979; Rural Development from 1906 to 1985; Deputy Minister Records from 1919 to 1991; Ministerial Records from 1954 to 1984; Marketing Services Records from 1967 to 1993; Grain Commission from 1938 to 1983; Central Program Support from 1985 to 1995; Communications Records from 1970 to 1976; Plant Industry Records from 1941 to 1997; Processing Records from 1972 to 1987; Dairy Records from 1890 to 1981; Economic Services from 1962 to 1988; Personnel Records from 1906 to 1974; Planning Secretariat from 1970 to 1985; Animal Health Records from 1948 to 1958; Wheat Board Monies Trust Records from 1927 to 1975; Research Records from 1977 to 1991; Farmer's Advocate of Alberta from 1972; Policy Secretariat from 1952 to 1990; International Marketing Export Agency Records from 1971 to 1976; Alberta Land Use Forum Records from 1973 to 1977; Agricultural Societies Records from 1987 to 1960.

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Records are transferred from the Board as per Government Records Schedules.


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  • The material is in English.

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Subject to The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act;Subject to the Copyright Act

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Further accruals are expected.

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