The moves follow a lengthy public review process, which included producer input.
Seven satellite offices will be closed as part of a reallocation of resources. The offices at Wadena, Meadow Lake, Lloydminster, Assiniboia, Shaunavon, Estevan and Moosomin were only usually open a couple of days per month with staff from regional offices.
“The reality is that over the past few years, we have only had a few appointments at those offices,” says Krystal Aulie, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture. “Our clients preferred to make a phone call or have our regional specialists meet them at the farm.”
Regional offices will remain at Prince Albert, Tisdale, Watrous, Outlook, North Battleford, Kindersley, Swift Current, Weyburn, Moose Jaw and Yorkton.
“There are no job losses as a result of these changes,” Aulie said. “It’s more about shifting around internally about where those resources make the best sense to be.”
Some regional offices will have more people than they’ve had before and some will have less.
Aulie says a new model is being rolled out that will focus on three key priorities—technology transfer, program delivery and public trust.
There will continue to be specialists for various agricultural areas:
-Crop Extension Specialist (focus on agronomy and unbiased technology transfer)
-Livestock and Feed Extension Specialist
-Range Management Specialist
There will also be Agriculture Program Specialists, who will make sure farmers know about government services and programs.