How important is agriculture to Wetaskiwin and Central Alberta? According to the Central Alberta Access Prosperity, the region is the province’s second largest agricultural area, producing more than 24 per cent of Alberta’s barley, 15 per cent of its canola, 16 per cent of its alfalfa and 13 per cent of its wheat crops. In addition, Central Alberta’s livestock is valued at more than $775 million.
Here at home, the Wetaskiwin Region covers over 821,000 acres of rich and fertile farmland, growing and raising many of those same crops and livestock.
Behind all those numbers, however, are the farmers, families and farming communities that make them possible, supported locally by vital organizations like the Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society.
With roots reaching back to 1897, the society works to support improvements in agriculture and the quality of life of those living in the Wetaskiwin area – rural and urban – by developing programs including fairs, rodeos, gymkhanas and riding clubs.
The society is also instrumental in coordinating heritage and cultural events, community beautification projects, youth programs like 4H, and supporting ongoing education and development through awards and scholarships to students pursuing agriculture-related fields at the University of Alberta, Olds College and the Wetaskiwin Composite High School.
Additional events to watch for include:
- The Rawhide Rodeo, June 10 to 12
- Gymkhana, running Tuesdays beginning in May
- Tractor Pull, Aug. 19 & 20
“Agriculture continues to be essential to Wetaskiwin – to our heritage, our economy and to the sense of community we enjoy,” says Heather Johns, office manager at the Ag Hall. “We encourage residents and businesses to show their support for local farming families and the greater network of industry and organizations that support them.”
All of this is, of course, reason to celebrate!
Celebrating Canada’s Ag Day
Last week, Central Alberta joined fellow agricultural communities across Canada to mark Canada’s Ag Day, Feb. 22.
A day set aside to “raise a fork to the food we love and the people who produce it,” Ag Day celebrates Canadian agriculture and food and encourages Canadians here at home and across the country to share the love about this home-grown industry. It’s also about helping consumers see the connections between where their food comes from and the people who produce it.
Get involved today!
As the Wetaskiwin Agricultural Society continues to support the community and its farmers, new members are always welcome, with general meetings held the third Monday of every month. For more information, visit wetaskiwinag.ca or call the office at 780-