The concept of the Agricultural Service Board (ASB) dates back to 1944 when several municipalities in the Alberta approached the Alberta Department of Agriculture to discuss resolutions to weed control and conservation issues. Over time, the program evolved into the present-day ASB program, whereby, 70 rural municipalities and counties across the Province of Alberta administer programs and services through Agricultural departments.
Under the direction of a local Agricultural Service Board, the County is tasked with the enforcement of various agricultural Provincial Acts & Regulations. The Government of Alberta provides funding assistance for county programs and members of the Agricultural Service Board and the County Agricultural Fieldmen routinely lobby Ministers and other representatives of the Province to effect sustainable change in the agricultural industry through annual resolutions, meetings, and other means.
ASBs are usually made up of a cross-section of members-at-large (local agricultural producers or those interested in agriculture) and several County Councilors. Big Lakes County Agricultural Service Board is comprised of five (5) Councillors and five (5) members-at-large who meet bi-monthly to discuss agricultural issues/ initiatives and county agricultural programs. In addition to these meetings, Council receives routine reports and recommendations from the Agricultural Fieldman within scheduled Council meetings.