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Building Community Relationships Working with Ag. Societies. Rob Smith & Mark Sayers Saturday, January 15 th , 2005 4-H Leader’s Conference 10:30 a.m. – Clearview Room. Goals of this session. Explanation of the “Problem” Definition of Ag. Society mandate

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building community relationships working with ag societies

Building Community RelationshipsWorking with Ag. Societies

Rob Smith & Mark Sayers

Saturday, January 15th, 2005

4-H Leader’s Conference

10:30 a.m. – Clearview Room

goals of this session
Goals of this session
  • Explanation of the “Problem”
  • Definition of Ag. Society mandate
  • Identification of strong 4-H / Ag. Society relationships around Alberta and what makes them work
  • Discussion of Grant Structure
  • How do we make the relationship better?
explanation of the problem
Explanation of the “Problem”

Be it resolved that the Southern Alberta Regional 4-H Council petitions Provincial 4-H Council to lobby the “Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies” (AAAS) to:

1. Create a strategic alliance resulting in reduced facilities costs for club, district, regional and provincial programs, events and activities;
2. Create a demonstrative guideline (including one (1) activity/event/program submission form, standard across the province) for Ag. Societies to convince them of the capability of partnering with 4-H (at all levels) in order to achieve AAFRD/Lottery funding as per current application guidelines
3. To have all in place for a presentation to the next AAAS convention in January 2004

This has certainly not happened… but is on its way…

definition of the ag society mandate
Definition of the Ag. Society mandate
  • Agricultural Societies are non-profit organizations that encourage improvement in agriculture and in the quality of life of persons living in an agricultural community by developing programs, services and facilities based on needs in their agricultural community.
  • Early Agricultural Societies developed fairs and exhibitions for the transfer of production information to farmers. These events were seen as opportunities to gather people from neighboring areas, learn something new, and have a good time doing it. 100 years later, Agricultural Societies in Alberta still provide over 1000 fairs and agricultural events each year.
The first agricultural society, known today as Edmonton Northlands was established in 1879.
  • Soon followed by Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Wetaskiwin and Olds all prior to 1900.
  • By 1940 there were 30 agricultural societies and by 1970 there were 49.
  • During the 1970's, agricultural societies in Alberta expanded their role in rural communities by developing community facilities, creating an influx in registered agricultural societies.
  • By the end of the 70's there were 212 agricultural societies.
Agricultural Societies in Alberta continue to maintain their traditional roles while meeting the needs of the agricultural community.
  • Focus now is forming new partnerships with a variety of agricultural and community groups.
  • Presently there are 293 active agricultural societies.
  • Ag. Societies are encouraged to operate in an entrepreneurial, business-like manner.
  • Bound by the Agricultural Societies Act.
did you know
Did you know…
  • That in the 2003-04 fiscal year, Alberta Ag. Society donations to 4-H totaled $112,000?
  • This actually amounts to approximately $260 / club…
  • Or $14 / member in the province of Alberta.
olds agricultural society
Olds Agricultural Society
  • One of the oldest in Alberta
  • Founded in 1899
  • One of the 9 “Major Fairs”, along with:
    • Calgary & Edmonton;
    • Lethbridge;
    • Medicine Hat;
    • Red Deer;
    • Camrose;
    • Lloydminster;
    • Grande Prairie.
olds agricultural society13
Olds Agricultural Society
  • Donates 200 ‘Days Operating’ to “free” events each year with a requirement to only provide 40. Most is for 4-H events.
  • In 2000, OAS Board motioned to provide ‘Days Operating’ to 4-H groups, Handicapped Riding, and other youth groups, in that order.
  • “Free” bookings are for youth groups only
olds agricultural society14
Olds Agricultural Society
  • Hosts:
    • District Heifer Show
    • District Horse Show
    • Olds / Eagle Club Achievement Day
    • Mountainview Dairy Club Achievement Day
    • Calgary Regional Judging Contest
    • Provincial Draft Horse Achievement Day
    • Provincial 4-H Beef Heifer Show
    • Numerous ‘Mock’ Achievement Days
    • Numerous club workshops
    • Two horse clubs use for riding
olds agricultural society15
Olds Agricultural Society
  • Hires local 4-H clubs for grounds clean-up during Mountainview County Fair & Rodeo, leading to a pay-out of approximately $5000 for four days;
  • Has created a ‘Youth Ambassador’ Program to recognize outstanding youth and gives them 3 - $1000 scholarships/year
    • Every recipient so far has been a 4-H member
olds agricultural society16
Olds Agricultural Society
  • What do they ask in return?
    • Picking rocks once or twice each year from the track;
    • Clean the grandstand in the spring;
    • Keep the facilities clean and neat while being used for ‘free’ activities;
    • Spread ‘good will’ about the usage;
    • Consider them first for ‘paid’ bookings.
olds agricultural society17
Olds Agricultural Society
  • Becoming the facility of choice for major equine events in Alberta.
  • Now hosting Provincial Shows for Angus and Limousin Junior Associations.
  • Increasing number of purebred seedstock sales.

To contact for more information:

General Manager Tami Gardner


lakedell ag society
Lakedell Ag. Society
  • Adjacent to Provincial 4-H Centre at Battle Lake;
  • Very much a part of this community.
  • Provides facility ‘free” for:
    • Provincial Equine Leaders Forum (PELF);
    • Provincial Beef Leaders Update (BuD);
    • Lakedell Achievement Day.
lakedell ag society19
Lakedell Ag. Society
  • Applies for and works many ‘Bingos’ in Wetaskiwin as a major fundraiser in addition to grants;
  • Solicits involvement from local 4-H clubs to assist with 4 or 5 ‘Bingos’ each year;
  • Makes $400 - $800 / Bingo.
other success stories
Other Success Stories
  • Manning Ag. Society
    • Contact - Nora Paulovich: 780/836-2337
  • High Prairie Ag. Society
    • Contact - Diane Perry:780/523-3965 or

Darla Driscoll:780/523-5338

current grant structure
Current Grant Structure
  • Grant monies come AFTER the completion of the activity year;
  • Divided into three categories:
    • Operational Expenses;
    • Agricultural Activities and Programs Expenses;
    • Rural Development, Leadership and Training Expenses.
operational expenses
Operational Expenses
  • Only eligible if you own or operate a facility that housed an agricultural event in the past year;
  • Expenses paid or reimbursed by an organization other than you are not eligible;
  • All expenses claimed must be paid by you and shown on your 2004 year-end financial statement;
  • If you received a municipal grant for operating expenses or have been reimbursed by another organization, you must deduct that amount from your operating expenses;
  • You may claim the net of your actual operating expenses.
eligible operational expenses

Office Supplies

Wages (concession, ice-making, janitor, programming, Executive Director, etc.)

Repairs & Maintenance (maximum $2000: floor stripping, janitor supplies, equipment rental, etc.)


Garbage pick-up

Snow removal

Yard maintenance

Top-ups (STEP / SEED / PEP)

Bookkeeping fees


Workers compensation

Cattle feed costs

Frontage tax in for garbage





Eligible Operational Expenses
not eligible operational expenses
Membership fees

Licenses / License fees

Start-up / shut-down ice plant

Concession supplies

Bank charges

Internet hook-up / installation


Bingo supplies / charges


Interest Fees



Legal fees




Capital expenses

Renovations &/or additions

Late payment penalties

Small tools & hardware

Building appraisals

Not Eligible Operational Expenses
operational expenses25
Operational Expenses

Are currently paid back to Alberta’s Ag. Societies in the amount of 15 – 16%

agricultural activities programs expenses
Agricultural Activities & Programs Expenses
  • You must include a schedule of revenue and expenses for all activities being claimed. If your accountant in unsure how these schedules must appear, please have him/her call.
eligible agricultural activities programs expenses
Agricultural education

Market & Trade development

Non-pro rodeos (net out cowboy’s entry fees)

Horse clinics

Heavy Horse Pulls

Stock dog trials

Gardening courses

Internet: workshops & operating line fees


AAAS Float fee

4-H shows & sales (no cattle sale expenses)

4-H camp (other than those listed in the leadership category)

4-H project day (Achievement)

Agricultural Fairs

Sponsorship of Ag. Events (i.e. Farm Women’s Conference, etc.)

Team Penning – wages

Senior Pro Rodeo

Communities in Bloom

EligibleAgricultural Activities & Programs Expenses
not eligible agricultural activities programs expenses
Craft shows


Dinner theatres, meals or beer gardens


Pro Rodeo

Chuck wagons / Pony chucks

Tractor Pulls

Jackpot shows – beef or horse

Stampede Wrestling

Fiddler’s Contest


Bingos, Raffles

Horse, Dog or Wild Horse Racing, Sport Dog Shows


Petting zoos

Pony rides

Cowboy Poetry

Musical Rides

Fundraising activities

Recreation / sporting activities

Bike Rodeo

Not EligibleAgricultural Activities & Programs Expenses
eligible expenses for bull a ramas rodeos horse cattle shows


Top-up’s on prize money payouts








Sanction fees


Additional help (wages)





Rodeo Queen


Eligible Expenses for Bull-a-ramas, Rodeos, Horse & Cattle Shows…
eligible expenses for fairs
Eligible Expenses for Fairs…
  • Fairbooks
  • Judges
  • Printing
  • Advertising
  • Tags & Supplies
  • Rent
  • Prizes & Ribbons
  • Office
agricultural activities programs expenses31
Agricultural Activities & Programs Expenses

Are currently paid back to Alberta’s Ag. Societies in the amount of 27%

rural development leadership and training expenses
Rural Development, Leadership and Training Expenses
  • The donated use of your meeting rooms is calculated under operating expenses. DO NOT claim again.
  • Names of camps, conferences and courses must be provided. The general term “donation” is not allowed.
eligible rural development leadership training expenses
Board development activities

Volunteer & staff training (leadership)

Conferences (AAAS, Vitalize, AB Recreation & Parks Assoc., Growing Rural Tourism, Facility Management Conference, Rural Women’s Conference, etc.)

Youth leadership training (camp registration fees only: Guides, Scouts, Jr. Forest Wardens, etc.)

Scholarships (post secondary, CAPA)

Awards – school

Ranching for Profit (1/2 tuition)

Governance & Financial Planning workshops

Regional AAAS meetings

4-H Public Speaking

4-H camps (registration fees only: PDP, LTCS, Club Week, Selections)

National 4-H Citizenship Seminar

National 4-H Conference

4-H Leader’s Conference

4-H project leader updates (i.e. BuD, PELF)

Encounters Canada

Forum for Young Canadians

Exchanges on Canadian Studies

Canadian Student Debating Federation National Seminar

National Student Commonwealth Forum

EligibleRural Development, Leadership & Training Expenses
not eligible rural development leadership training expenses
Entertainment costs

Music festivals

Annual membership fees

Tourist booths

STARS / Red Cross

School trips

Meals / Food Banks

Summer Programs



Day Cares




Sheldon Kennedy donations

Science Fairs

First Aid courses

No yearly program / membership fees for clubs


Not EligibleRural Development, Leadership & Training Expenses
rural development leadership training expenses
Rural Development, Leadership & Training Expenses

Are currently paid back to Alberta’s Ag. Societies in the amount of 100%

questions regarding grant structure
Questions regarding Grant Structure…
  • Shauna Johnston: 780/ 427-4221
  • Cindy Dixon: 780/ 427-4311
how do we make the relationship better
How do we make the relationship better?

Working with Ag. Societies to make them work with and for you… and you with and for them!