Barry Kolenosky is the latest addition to the team at the M.D. of Lesser Slave River. He’s the new Ag Fieldman, working out of the Flatbush office since Sept. 4.
When it comes to municipal positions, Kolenosky has been around.
“I started at a very young age,” he says.
That was working for the County of Beaver when he was 16 years old, as a weed inspector and pesticide applicator. Since then he’s worked in various jobs for various municipalities, as well as doing a fair amount of farming.
Born and raised in the Viking area, Kolenosky went to NAIT after high school, getting a diploma in the Bio Sciences program, with some specialization in environmental sciences. While still in school he did some work with Alberta Environment on a new program having to do with recycling pesticide containers. The program has since spread through western Canada, he says.
After a couple of years with Alberta Environment, Kolenosky and his new wife Connie decided to start a consulting business, which they did, based in Calgary. That lasted a couple of years and then following “a hankering for the ag side of things,” he bought a small farm near Two Hills and went to work for the county as ag fieldman.
Kolenosky’s next gig was as ag fieldman for I.D. 21 (later the M.D. of Clear Hills). He had the same position at Thorhild County. A bad accident while at Thorhild forced some time off, after which he went back to the Peace Country at I.D. 21, based in Worsely.
“It’s very similar to here,” Kolenosky says. “I call it ‘agricultural frontier.’”
For the past 15 years or so, Kolenosky farmed in Lakeland (now Lac La Biche) County at the same time as working for the county.
“I did all kinds of things there,” he says, “including CAO. It was a great learning experience.”
While there, Kolenosky was the winner of an Emerald Award (in 2014) for his work in incorporating environmental values into municipal policies. Some of those policies, he says, are now being used by other municipalities. In an online video, he describes himself as ‘a practical environmentalist,’ who looks for a balance between environment and development.
Outside of work, Kolenosky is involved in farming with his three adult sons. He and Connie have four grandchildren, who he says he enjoys spoiling and then sending back home.
“I’m an avid outdoorsman,” he adds. “And this might sound strange, but I love making sausage. I crank out some pretty good stuff.”
For the time being, Kolenosky is commuting to work from his home in the Lac La Biche area, but he says he’s looking for a place in the M.D. “before winter.”