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

file photo
UPDATE: Leduc RCMP, Millet Fire Department and more on scene at serious multi-vehicle collision

Traffic is expected to be diverted for several hours and alternative travel routes are recommended.

File photo
Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are searching for suspect involved in an armed robbery at the Leduc Giant Tiger.

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Most Read