By Justin Seward
Southern Alberta Newspapers
Barons and District Agricultural Society celebrated everything agriculture during their annual Celebrate Canada’s Agriculture Day on Saturday.
The Agricultural Society has been celebrating this day since 2017, when the day was established nationally, but had to forgo the event in 2021 due to the pandemic.
The day is a time where all the going in the agriculture industry can be recognized and assist consumers in seeing a connection between where their food comes from as far as a local source and how it’s produced.
“Well, we try to focus on different things each year to show how agriculture plays an important part in everybody’s life because we produce the food,” said Mary Bishop, Ag Society president.
“So we’re actually feeding the world. If it wasn’t for that, then there would be disasters happening.”
The event also featured local businesses that are connected to agriculture.
To celebrate this day has its importance for the Ag Society.
“I know we’re just a little cog in the wheel,” said Bishop.
“But I mean some of us farmers grow canola and it’s one of the biggest crops that is growing in Canada and we’re well known for it. And it’s nice to get the word out. I know sometimes we don’t blow our own horn enough and we need to get it out there to consumers and help the economy out.”
Paul Jakober and his family did a speech on sugar beet production.
The Jakobers have been farming east of Barons since 1959.
While sugar beets is not as big of a deal around Barons, Jakober said a few miles east it’s still a good crop and it’s the way a lot that land was purchased.
The Jakobers were highlighting the history and the current state of the industry.
“It’s still a good crop, really good agronomically, and kind of a unique thing,” said Jakober.
“It’s the only place in Canada that you can get sugar from a crop grown in Canada. The plant in Taber is the only one that processes Canadian sugar beets.”
For the Jakobers to be at the celebration, it was a cool for them to experience.
“Because last year was my dad’s last year growing sugar beets and this will be my first year under my name,” said Jakober.
“It’s sort of a neat time to be part of it.”
Tracy Elke has two divisions on the family farm just west of Barons.
Garlic the World is where she grows her own garlic, makes her own spices and do black garlic.
The second is Hoppy Beginning, which are hops that are grown, processed and eventually will lead to the opening of a brewery after seven to eight months once a recipe is found.
“There isn’t anything I don’t like about it,” said Elke.
“We’re four generations up until about five years ago on the farm. The kids just had a wealth of knowledge growing up with all the animals, and the plants and the learning. It’s just been great. I wouldn’t change it. I’m looking forward to having grandchildren someday that are also going to be on the farm. It’s just a simpler life.”
Attendees could also enjoy a sugar beet presentation from the Jakobers by a local farmer producer, free Farm to Fork Eats, Ag displays presentations and Ag related activities.