Original Published August 3, 2022
Once a weed inspector, always a weed inspector. So says Kendra Kozdroski, the new agricultural fieldman for the M.D. of Lesser Slave River. As such, she has lots of responsibilities outside of weed control. But the job of controlling the noxious and prohibited plants never ends, and when you’re trained in identifying them, you find yourself doing it even when you’re not on duty.
“That’s what I tell my inspectors,” Kozdroski says. “You will see them everywhere you go!”
For example: Kozdroski was at the M.D. office in Slave Lake for an interview, not to do a weed assessment; but glancing out the window, she noticed a row of blooming white cockles that had avoided the M.D. mower.
“I’m going to do something about those,” she said.
Kozdroski also said she had been assessing the weeds in the Hwy. 2 ditch on the drive up from Flatbush.
“Weed control and (Alberta) Transportation,” she says. “The whole province is struggling with it.”
But at least municipalities are aware of their Weed and Pest Acts responsibilities and are doing something about it. Kozdroski says Saskatchewan and B.C. don’t require their municipalities to do much of anything. The legislation is in place, but that’s about it.
She has first-hand experience in the province to the east, having worked there for the government in the field of crop insurance for a year. That was her most recent job before moving to the current position. Other postings in the ag field included stints in weed control for Parkland County, the County of Greenview and Big Lakes County (where she was ag fieldman for a time).
“It’s going really good so far,” Kozdroski says, barely three weeks into her new job. “Our weed inspectors have been super busy.”
Kozdroski grew up on the family farm, located just 30 minutes’ drive from the Flatbush M.D. office. She’s back living there now, and working with her parents running the cattle and grain operation. One of five girls in the family, she says she spends as much time as she can with her sisters, and enjoys all sorts of outdoor activities, winter and summer.
Kozdroski studied environmental science at Lakeland College in Vermilion, “a very good school,” graduating in 2018. She’s had no trouble finding employment in the ag field since then. This latest posting is a sort of homecoming, allowing her to participate in the family farming enterprise at the same time as holding down a job in her chosen field.
Meanwhile, the weed challenge never ends. If you’ve got noxious or prohibited ones, chances are good you’ll be hearing from Kozdroski or her weed inspectors.
This item reprinted with permission from Lakeside Leader, Slave Lake, Alberta