The province has introduced a $10 million grant program to help agricultural societies reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Agricultural societies run more than 700 facilities throughout Alberta, which includes hockey rinks, curling rinks, community halls and facilities that host rodeos and fairs. Roughly 260 of those societies will be eligible for funding.

“Alberta’s agricultural sector wants to do its part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This one-time investment will allow our agricultural societies to demonstrate environmental leadership, while continuing to enhance the quality of life in communities they serve,” said agriculture and forestry minister, Oneil Carlier.

The new program is aimed at helping the societies reduce greenhouse gas emissions and facility operating costs along with improving lighting, heating, ventilation and rink/arena equipment.

“Many of Alberta’s agricultural facilities are aging, and this grant will provide an opportunity to update buildings, improve energy efficiency and reduce increasing operating costs in the long term. Our ag societies, and these facilities, are essential to a high quality of life for Albertans, and this support helps relieve some of the rising financial pressure on societies so they can continue to do important work in their communities,” said Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies CEO, Tim Carson.

The 2018/19 Climate Leadership Plan funds will cover the cost of the new program.

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Photo supplied: From left, Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies CEO Tim Carson, Debbie Ross, board president and agriculture and forestry minister Oneil Carlier.