Monthly Archives: January 2014

Training programs for “the hired hand”


Hands-on training to help address farm labour challenges

The Agricultural Operator Program is a module-based program offering practical, hands-on training to individuals interested in working on Saskatchewan farms. Students and employers will have the flexibility to choose the entire program or specific modules relevant to their farms.

The first three modules will be seeding, spraying and scouting, and harvest to be delivered at Parkland Regional College in Yorkton. Additional modules will be developed for the livestock industry including haying, beef cattle reproduction and calving, and cattle husbandry and handling. Following the pilot program, the provincial government will work to expand the program to other regional colleges across Saskatchewan.

The pilot program will start with a seeding module beginning March 3 and ending April 16. The module is comprised of 36 hours of hands-on workshops and nine hours of online delivery. It will cover essential farm knowledge for seeding processes and equipment maintenance. The spraying module will be available in late May and the harvest module will be available in early July.

“We are pleased to run the pilot year of this course at our Yorkton Campus,” Parkland College President Fay Myers said. “The timing of the modules matches the critical times on the farm, so employees can take the seeding module during the time right before seeding. Then they can then put their education to use right away in the field.”

For more information on how to apply for the program, go to or

When the program was announced this week, Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said, “Producers have indicated that they need more skilled labour for their operations and this program directly responds to their needs. Farmers can send current or potential employees through the program to develop or help fine tune their skills. Additionally, general labourers without a farm background will have an opportunity to gain the experience needed to get involved in the industry.”

spring in Saskatchewan

The federal and provincial governments will invest $200,000 in funding for the development and delivery of the Agricultural Operator Program pilot through Growing Forward 2.

McLurg senior girls undefeated at home tournament

The McLurg High School seniors girls’ basketball team hosted teams from Unity, Lashburn, Maidstone, Asquith and Davidson January 17 and 18, and were victorious in all three of their own games. Here are some shots from the action during their game against the team from Unity Composite High School. For scores and additional photos, see the January 27 edition of the Unity-Wilke Press-Herald.

basketball close-upUCHS vs McLurgbasketballsenior girls basketballbasketball at WilkieWilkie girls' basketballbasketball throw-inbasketball court

The last two photos shown are not as clear as they could be, but the “basketball dance” and its outcome (“Mine!” No, mine!”) may bring a smile to the faces of our readers/viewers!

a loose ballmine, no mine!


Flu vaccine availability increasing

Earlier this week Saskatchewan received a shipment of 107,000 doses of FluMist nasal vaccine, confirmed it is in good order, and began the process of distributing it to health regions.

vaccinationThe injectable vaccine is also more widely available and Heartland Health Region is holding a seasonal flu vaccination clinic, open to everyone, at Wilkie Health Centre, Wednesday, January 29, noon to 3 pm.

A government press release, Tuesday, January 21, had said:

  •  “Saskatchewan’s remaining supplies of injectable vaccine are being reserved for infants, pregnant women and persons with compromised immune systems. Injectable vaccine will also now be made available to residents 60 and over, supplies permitting. More injectable vaccine is expected in early February, and will be used for persons who are unable to get vaccinated with FluMist.”
  • “We encourage Saskatchewan people to be vaccinated to protect themselves from illness due to influenza,” Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer Denise Werker said. “Our goal is to vaccinate as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.”
  • FluMist contains the same influenza strains as other flu vaccines used in the northern hemisphere this influenza season, including the H1N1 strain. It is licensed for use in Canada for people from two to 59 years of age.
  • It is not recommended for children under two, pregnant women and people who are immune-compromised. FluMist is also not recommended for health care workers who provide care to patients with severe immune-compromised conditions who require hospitalization in a protective environment.

For information on influenza, symptoms and self-care, call HealthLine 811 or visit

Arnold and Sandra Glassford

Sandra and Arnold Glassford, co-owners of Glassford’s Funeral Home, live on a farm between Unity and Wilkie. They are both licensed funeral directors and as much as possible they like to use local funeral assistants to help carry out the services of their Funeral Homes. Embalming is done at the Unity facility.

Glassfords Funeral HomeArnold began in the funeral business in 1992, followed by Sandra in 2001.

In 2003 they purchased the Unity Funeral Home at 157 3rd Ave. West in Unity. In 2007 they purchased a second facility at 302 5th St. West in Wilkie.

For the Glassfords, providing funeral services is “more than just a business.”

The couple feel that follow-up or after care is important and seek to serve each and every family with “dignity and compassion.”

Some services they provide are visiting surviving spouses to help them in their time of adjustment; providing a lending library for those who are grieving as well as helpful literature at the time of death.

They seek to treat everyone with the same dignity and respect, and to do all they can to help make the farewell for their loved one,all they would desire.

Arnold and Sandra find it very rewarding to help people as they seek to follow their motto of “Serving with dignity and compassion.”

For contact information and office hours, see


Saskatchewan snowmobile laws

Local RCMP provide clarification on snowmobiling laws

Submitted by Cst. Terry FORBES of the Unity/Macklin/Wilkie RCMP

The Saskatchewan Snowmobile Act governs the operation of snowmobiles in the province, and sets out fines for violating the rules.

Operating an unregistered snowmobile is a $100 fine. Registering/licensing a snowmobile is around $100-plus for the entire year. A percentage of the yearly registrations in Saskatchewan is returned by the province to the various Saskatchewan snowmobile clubs; in turn, that money is used to upkeep the trail systems.

If your snowmobile is only ridden on your private property, it does not have to be plated but if ridden on any other property or on a trail system anywhere, it has to have a valid registration/license. Please contact your local SGI provider for more details.

All snowmobile operators must have a valid driver’s licence, and be at least 16 years old. The penalty for operating a snowmobile without a subsisting licence is a $150 fine. Persons under 16 must have completed a snowmobile user’s course and be riding with a parent or guardian who holds a valid licence. That parent or guardian must be riding a snowmobile at the same time as and with the underage person.

The fine for failing to produce a licence is $100.

Operating a snowmobile on or near a highway without authorization can lead to a $150 fine. You cannot ride on the travelled portion, which includes the shoulder, of a roadway/highway. You may cross the highway in the shortest/most direct way possible, after you’ve stopped and checked if it is safe to do so, allowing all users of the road/highway the right of way. You have to obey all traffic laws approaching or leaving the highway/roadway area.

For improperly crossing a highway, the fine is $125 and it is $150 for failing to yield the right of way.

The Snowmobile Act also says “No person shall travel on privately owned land without proper permission.” Snowmobilers must also respect “No Trespassing” or “No Snowmobiling” signs where and when visible.

Most importantly, please wear a helmet at all times when operating a snowmobile. The fine for not wearing a helmet is $125. A helmet may also save your life.

If you are riding the ditches along a highway/roadway, we ask that you ride with traffic, meaning in the same direction as the traffic on the same side of the road as the ditch you are travelling in.

The speed limit applying to all snowmobiles on any field, ditch or trail is 80 kilometres an hour. Speeding tickets can be given out and the fine is $150.

Most towns in the area have bylaws which state a snowmobile may be used within the town limits but must travel the most direct route out of town. The same goes for returning to your home.

All of these snowmobile laws can be reviewed further online at the Queen’s Printer website, or you can search The Snowmobile Act Saskatchewan.

You live here, you ride your snowmobile here; it must be plated here.

Next week’s paper

Look for:

  • tips on keeping your kids healthy, as well as an article on the flu which has been making its rounds in our communities;
  • a couple of photos of wind damage from Wednesday’s winds;
  • read Wilkie Thoughts & Tidbits to find out who was the lucky winner of 2014’s first trip of the month; and
  • better late than never, photos and details from the Atton’s Lake Annual Breast Cancer Fundraiser in August.

And, as always, check out the ads for specials at local businesses, job opportunities and upcoming events.

After Wednesday’s high winds, people reported ice fishing shacks rolling across the lakes of the North West region, flagpoles down, grain bins blown away and other wind-related damage. This farm shelter belt didn’t suffer much damage but the photograph only shows a small portion of the  pine cones from the spruce trees scattered everywhere by the end of the day.

after the wind

Fall restraint systems required if working above three or more metres

Last month two companies and two individuals were convicted of charges under Saskatchewan occupational health and safety legislation. All four cases included a charge of contravening clause 116 of the regulations – failing to ensure workers used a fall protection system at a work area where a worker may fall three metres or more.

Ridge Riders Roofing Ltd., of Saskatoon also pleaded guilty to failing to provide and/or require workers to use appropriate protective headwear and failing to ensure all work was sufficiently and competently supervised. Fines levied in court December 13, 2013, totalled $1,880. All the charges related to a building worksite in Saskatoon July 15, 2011.

In a separate case, Henry Janzen Steel Buildings Ltd., of Osler, pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to ensure workers used a fall protection system and was fined $840 in Saskatoon Provincial Court December 17, 2013. The charge stemmed from an inspection April 4, 2012, when occupational health and safety officers observed workers on a church roof in Warman working without a fall protection system.

Eric Remus, owner of Completely Hammered Framing and Finishing in Saskatoon, was also fined $840, December 18, 2013, for the same offence. He was charged after an inspection June 12, 2012, at a worksite in Saskatoon where a worker was observed installing materials on the peak of a second story roof without utilizing a fall protection system.

Dave Hamm of Hepburn also pleaded guilty and was fined $840 December 18, 2013. That charge related to an inspection October 12, 2012, where an OHS officer saw someone working on a roof of a home in Saskatoon in violation of occupational health and safety legislation.

Occupational health and safety conducts approximately 4,000 worksite inspections annually in Saskatchewan to ensure standards are known, understood and enforced. Falls represent more than 12 per cent of all injuries reported in construction.