Dauphin Ochre - Submitted By David Perih

In March 1964, the Rural Municipality of Dauphin and Ochre River met to form a weed control district. Members of this first board, who formed, were John Potoski and Elgin Chute representing the Rural Municipality of Dauphin. Lawrence Pockett and John Carter of Ochre with Dave Hill representing Manitoba Agriculture.

John Orisko was hired as weed supervisor and worked at this position until 1979, followed by Paul Boulet form 1979 to 1980, Reg Tarrant from 1980 to 1983 and David Perih from 1999 to present day.

The purpose of the weed district was to provide assistance to the farmers regarding herbicide recommendations and application to cropland, pastures and wasteland, weed identification, sprayer calibration, awareness information for potentially new or spreading weed problems and a general source of weed control information. The service would be an extension of that available from the local agriculture representative and provide more detailed service to the public.

The weed board would also have the power under the Noxious Weed Act to have weed problems in the area looked after which were considered to be a threat to agriculture. The weed supervisor would inform the public of any new weeds that are being brought in by movement of grain, seed or forages, as well as preparing and supervising a program for weed control on Municipal roadways, highways, railways and crown lands.

The most important feature would be educational information on weeds and their control. The positive aspect of weed control is to put money into farmer’s pockets through increased yields, increase land and property values. Through education, farmers in the district would be alerted to new weeds which could be stopped before they develop into wide spread problems.

The Rural Municipality of Dauphin and Ochre is a vast agricultural oasis boarded by the Riding and Duck Mountains. Many rivers and streams drain off this rich landscape into Lake Dauphin, this adds to many aquatic weed control concerns for the district. The Dauphin Ochre Weed Control District covers all land within the district, not only the municipal land, which involves working with land managers to make the district a shining star on the Weed Control Map of Manitoba.

The current Weed Supervisor Dave Perih has served the district for the last 16 years. Assistant supervisor and spray operator Chris Rogers is set for his second season. Lisa Fee joins the team this year as Secretary Treasurer. Councilor Boris Michaleski heads the four member board, which consist of two councilors from each municipality. The board is funded by Levies from each municipality.