08/27/2015 13:06 EDT | Updated 08/27/2016 01:12 EDT

Farmers denounce federal government's closure of Alberta agricultural archive

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — The National Farmers Union says the federal government is "destroying history" by closing a southern Alberta agricultural archive.

The union says years of studies by the Lethbridge Agriculture Canada research station are being thrown out under orders from Ottawa.

A media relations officer for Agriculture Department has said the government is making digital copies of what it considers important.

The farmers union says the research station's reports are just the latest material in government libraries to be tossed, burned or sent to landfills.

The farm group says any money saved by closing libraries pales when compared to the value of research that will be lost to future generations.

Ian Robson, a Manitoba board member, questions how much material is being preserved digitally.

"How much — if any — of the information was saved in an electronic format as the government claims?" Robson asked Thursday in a news release.

"When these libraries are closed, facts and knowledge are destroyed," added farmers union president Jan Slomp.

The Canadian Press