Open Farm Days

Pipestone Flyer

Brenda Hanson, Tourism Development Officer, with Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation.

Farms open to urban visitors

    In the past, most people knew how their food arrived at their table by direct experience with farming. Urban families would visit the grandparent’s or uncle and aunt’s farm and see first-hand how  their food was grown and where it came from; a shock to some to realize that  milk, eggs and butter do not originate from Safeway. Today, fewer than three out of every 100 Albertans are involved in farming. As a result, a large percentage of our population is a few generations removed from agriculture and the agri-food industry. The ‘industrial’ type of farm operations we see today are so much bigger it limits the opportunity for youth of today to experience first-hand how food is produced.

    Today, the rural landscape is a graveyard of decaying buildings and rusting equipment. Communities as we once knew them have pretty much vanished.  It’s sad to see the churches and schools, once the hub of rural communities, become the victims of time and neglect and deteriorating or demolished. Most of the early settlers have passed away while their children and grandchildren and even great grandchildren have chosen to live in urban centres. 

Program to connect urban and rural.

    Brenda Hanson, Tourism Development Officer, with Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation attended the November 25th Wetaskiwin and District Chamber of  Commerce meeting to explain a program that is attempting to link agricultural producers with consumers; rural and urban.

    “Alberta Open Farm Days is about farmers and ranchers inviting their urban and rural neighbours to stop in for a visit to share stories, see demonstrations, and learn more about the farmers who grow their food.  In 2013 we had 41 registered farms including berry farms, mixed farms, wineries, ranches and petting zoos. There were also 11 culinary events around the province including farmer’s market tours, field dinners, pig roasts and wine tastings. Admission to the farms was free but farmers did charge fees for some activities and sold product. Visitors spent nearly $20,000 on farms across the province on August 25th.”

Beginning of Open Farm Days

“We brought together various partners that brought something unique and important to the table. We formed a steering committee made up of representatives from each of the partners to launch the inaugural Open Farm Days.” The steering committee was comprised of the following partners: 

• Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation (ATPR)

• Agriculture for Life (Ag for Life)

• Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD)

• Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies (AAAS)

• Alberta Culinary Tourism Alliance (ACTA)

• Travel Alberta

    The committee identified several objectives they wanted to see achieved during Open Farm Days: 

• A backstage pass to meet your farmer

• A province wide two day event that creates opportunities for farmers to open their doors and share their story 

• An opportunity to learn more about farm products, see demonstrations, take walking tours and ask questions about farm life 

• A chance to buy direct from the farmer and support the local economy

• A great way to enjoy some recreational and educational activities with your family.     

• Opportunity to taste/sample local products

    Hanson reported to Chamber members that  the Open Farm Days project began a process of achieving a better knowledge of the agri-food industry:  

• To increase the awareness of ag-tourism operations throughout the province. 

• To encourage consumer awareness, direct farm marketing and ag-tourism as a business.

• To give tourists the opportunity to meet the farmer and understand where their food and products come from.

• To grow the ag-tourism and local food industries.

• To increase tourism visits and revenues 

    Open Farm Days will be a two day, weekend event held on August 23rd and 24th, 2014. Recruitment of host farms will commence in January 2014.

Website: www.albertafarmdays.com

Just Posted

City of Wetaskiwin saves nearly $1M, restructures staff

‘Streamlining’ results in 10 positions eliminated at City of Wetaskiwin

Team Alberta ends Games strongly with 44 medals in week one

Alberta is currently sitting in second place of the medal standings

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Maskwacis RCMP seek three in home invasion case

Maskwacis RCMP investigate home invasion

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

Most Read