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 on the PrairiesThe 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.

Changes on Main Street – possible new opportUNITY

Main Street in the Unity downtown has seen many businesses come and go over the years. From furniture stores and ladies’ dress shops years ago to the loss of Ultra Sports, Ridgeline Engineering and Jig’s Variety Store last year, business closures are generally a sad event for the community, the town and the customers.

On the other side of the coin, when an empty downtown building is filled with a new business, it creates optimism for everyone – the new business owners, the town, residents and even surrounding businesses. Last year, we saw Special Event Rentals, Crossfit Lair and Wildeman Sports Excellence all take up space and open their doors on Main Street. Just off Main Street, Family Foods also opened last year.

Lindsey Deroo

Along with other changes on Main Street in Unity, Saskatchewan, this former ladies’ wear shop is now a fitness facility. Lindsey Deroo opened up Crossfit Lair in May of last year, 2013.

There is still room for new business on Main Street and Sister’s Flowers will be closing soon, creating another vacancy. Of course Main Street is not the only place to have a business, as the opening of Family Foods proved, and there is other space available in town too.

The town’s economic development officer, Carey Baker, has done some research into potential businesses, businesses which do not currently exist in Unity. One business he believes would be a wonderful addition to the town and surrounding area is a family entertainment centre.

The family entertainment centre concept he has looked at is a mixed bowling and indoor playground facility, with two to four lanes of contemporary bowling, including electronic scorekeeping and glow in the dark options, and an indoor playground, such as might be found at some Burger King and McDonald’s venues, as well as a lounge and concession area.

Daycares, seniors, families, special needs, schools and special event parties would be some of the potential users of such a facility.

Baker has done some preliminary work on a business proposal for a family entertainment centre and would like to speak to people who might be interested in looking at this particular opportunity. In an email, he says this business “is one that I am particularly interested in and believe would be a great addition to the region. I cannot state specifically that the Family Centre is feasible, but would be happy to provide the information I have gathered, contacts, etc., and would assist interested individual(s) to further the study of its feasibility.”

Whether you would like to look at the details on the family entertainment centre or simply want more information in general about opening a new business in Unity, Baker can be contacted at the town office, 306-228-2621 or online at

Working toward maximum 3 month wait time for surgery

Surgical teams across the province continue to work toward the goal of improving surgical care and reducing patient wait times to less than three months from the time surgery is planned.

Statistics to the end of November show that about 79 per cent of patients are receiving a procedure within three months thanks to the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative, which is nearing the end of its four-year transformation effort in March 2014. There are 4,796 patients waiting more than three months for surgery – 10,555 fewer than when the Surgical Initiative began in March 2010.

“Thanks to a monumental effort by surgical teams, patient advisors and health region administrators, we have made incredible progress toward sooner, safer and smarter surgical care,” Health Minister Dustin Duncan said.

The province’s largest and busiest health regions – Saskatoon and Regina Qu’Appelle – have both faced challenges meeting surgical demand. The Saskatoon Health Region has implemented a mitigation plan to overcome increased demand for about 700 more surgeries this year; however, even with the increased effort, it will take until late 2014 to meet the target of providing all surgeries within three months.

“In a co-ordinated effort by our staff, physicians and our contracted medical facility, we are continuing to reduce the size of our surgical wait lists,” Saskatoon Health Region President and CEO Maura Davies said.

Overall, Saskatoon has been achieving the planned increased volume of surgical cases this year, but demand rose more than expected in 2013. The region’s mitigation plan to deal with the increased demand includes expanding operating room hours so an additional 465 surgeries can be performed this fiscal year and exploring ways to even out the wait lists of surgeons. The region will also work with other health regions to offer patients surgeries closer to home and will increase the number of day surgeries handled by the third-party surgical centre on contract with the Saskatoon Health Region.

Information about the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative is available at The website also features the Specialist Directory, which empowers patients and their primary care providers to compare options for surgical care.

Unity Museum in trouble – willing hands desperately needed

(From information submitted by museum board representative)

We have some serious concerns at the Unity and District Heritage Museum (UDHM). Over the past few years our membership numbers have dropped fast and no other people are coming forward to pick up the torch.

Our membership is down to 12-15 people and only a quarter of these show up for meetings. We had 36 members in 2013 and in 2014 we are down to 13 members. Can we survive?

Due to a lack of volunteers, no brunches were scheduled for the end of 2013. We started them Jan. 12, and plan to have them each Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until the end of April, but we are still low on volunteer numbers.

Of our life members, the people who started the museum up, we only have seven left and only one of these still works at the museum. The other six have done their part and were hoping others would step forward and take over for them but so far this has not happened.

We have such interesting buildings and such special donations from local families. Everything we have, school books, Bibles, household items, clothing, dolls, military, etc., is a reflection of our town and surrounding area. Everyone has a bit of family history here, but for what if we let it die and rot away?

Unity, SK Museum

The sod house at the Unity and District Heritage Museum.

We have a wonderful museum. Visitors are impressed by how much we have for such a small town. When they hear all the items have been donated, not bought, they are even more impressed.

We need some new blood, younger generations who want to see these items cared for and cherished so others can enjoy them in the future. There is so much that could be done to make the museum the talk of Saskatchewan, but we need more members. You can’t depend on just four or five people to keep it going alone. They are getting tired and are feeling unappreciated.

We are asking for your help. Come and join our membership and give your voice and vote to what goes on at this museum. Please join us, and pay the dues — they will not break you: $2 for a year, $5 for three years. Attend the monthly meetings where programs, events and fundraisers can be discussed and planned. Let us keep this museum open for our future.

Our executive members – Bill Meek (president), Gorden McLean (vice-president) and Jim Sego (secretary) –  will answer any questions you have about UDHM.

We do appreciate all this town does do for us but we also see a grim future. We hope this knowledge of our situation will inspire some of you to help us by being museum members willing to become involved at UDHM.

P.S. If you are interested in a part-time summer job as a tour guide from 2-5 p.m., four to five days a week, please send us your resume to Box 852, Unity. The summer season is fast approaching.

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

Senior Boys`Basketball – Luseland vs. Unity

basketball boys

Shots from the senior boys’ league basketball game between the Luseland Lords and the Unity Composite High School Warriors, January 14, 2014. UCHS won the game. See the January 20th Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald for more photos from the game.

Lords vs Warriors b-closeup up b-uchs defence b-unity drive b-zohersenior boys basketballLuseland Lordssenior boys`basketball b-one on one

Senior Girls’ Basketball – Luseland vs. UCHS

g-Lords v. WarriorsShots from the senior girls’ league basketball game between the Luseland Lords and the Unity Composite High School Warriors, January 14, 2014. UCHS won the game. See the January 20th Unity-Wilkie Press-Herald for more photos from the game.

terra drive sharlee pass Lords vs WarriorsUCHS girls basketballLuseland Lordsbasketball struggleLuseland v UCHSdown the courthigh school basketball

Celebrate Unity 2014 planning underway

Do you know somebody who makes Unity a better place, or a business celebrating a milestone anniversary? The honouree list for Celebrate Unity 2014 is being finalized so if you have a suggestion or nomination, please contact  committee chair, Gerald Hauta at 306-228-2688 or, by email, You can also use the comment form on the chamber webpage:

Some individuals will be honoured for exemplary service, new businesses and those celebrating special anniversaries will be congratulated and committees who have hosted provincial events will be recognized.

Celebrate Unity 2014The gala evening, put on by the Unity and District Chamber of Commerce, will include a catered supper, the recognition/celebration program, a service auction and entertainment.

Hoja, the three-man cappella group who performed to rave reviews at Celebrate Unity last year, is returning for the 2014 event which will be held at the Unity Community Centre March 3. Hoja sings virtually every style of music, as well as vocalizing instrument sounds and other noise effects.

Last year’s Celebrate Unity audience was captivated by the talent of this Calgary, Alta., group. As the chamber-sponsored celebratory evening is open for any and all community members to attend, Celebrate Unity 2014 event is your chance to hear Hoja’s amazing talents live and in person if you missed out last year – or to enjoy them again if you were lucky enough to be in the audience last year.

Businesses and individuals willing to donate time and talent for this year’s service auction are asked to contact Geraldine Barrett at 306-228-2808 or, by email, Service items auctioned off last year included a half day of housecleaning, holiday decorating, cakes made to order and an afternoon of yardwork.

Celebrate Unity is your chance to come and celebrate the successes of your friends and neighbours, hear talented visiting musicians and bid on unique auction items.

Tickets for Celebrate Unity 2014 will soon be available – watch for ads and posters. In the meantime, mark March 3 in your calendar!

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 feature on Si Campbell, who was asked to represent the RCAF at an international air convention in Las Vegas;
  • information on the Unity KidSport committee; and
  • a plea for help from the Unity and District Heritage Museum.

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


Midget Lazers v Rosetown Redwings

With eight wins, a loss and two ties, the Unity Midget Lazers stand in second place in the Hi-way 14 Hockey League, behind Kerrobert who has nine wins and a tie. Eston, Eatonia and Leader are all hot on their heels, tied for third place with seven wins, one loss and two ties apiece.

These photos are from the Lazers’ home game against the Rosetown Redwings 1, January 5, which game the Lazers won 10-3. Their next home game is Saturday, January 18, at 6:15 p.m. when Elrose comes to town.

Unity Midget LazersUnity, SK hockeyUnity, SK midget hockeyunity v rosetownHIghway 14 HockeyLazers scoreUnity vs. Rosetownrink hockey

Unity Lazer Midgets

Unity minor hockey