By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
The Coaldale and District Agricultural Society is excited to commemorate its 50th anniversary by hosting an inaugural agricultural bus tour as part of the 2023 Open Farm Days, on Aug. 19.
Showcasing the rich farming heritage and vibrant agricultural industry of Coaldale and Lethbridge County, the tour promises an immersive experience, with visits to four diverse farms and ag retail establishments. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the operations first-hand from knowledgeable hosts, with refreshments and lunch, and learn about the region’s agricultural industry.
The event is scheduled to take place on an upcoming date, inviting local farming enthusiasts and curious individuals to partake in a memorable agricultural adventure. Here’s a glimpse into the day’s itinerary:
1. KCL Cattle Co.: This cattle operation will showcase their innovative approach to raising cattle, offering a unique perspective on modern beef production.
2. Tokariuk Farms: Explore the intricacies of irrigated farming and learn about the challenges and rewards of growing crops through advanced irrigation techniques.
3. Nutrien Ag Solutions: Get valuable insights into cutting-edge agricultural technologies and discover the range of solutions offered by the ag retailer.
4. 845 Spuds: Uncover the world of potato farming and witness the potato processing facility firsthand, gaining a deeper understanding of the journey from field to fork.
This is the first year, the Coaldale and District Agricultural Society (CDAS) will be participating in Open Farm days.
Joe Michielsen, president of the CDAS said the event will be an opportunity to for members of the general public to learn more about the ag industry and other key issues impacting producers.
“One of the big issues is farm safety, and of course just promoting the different types of agriculture in our area.”
Michielsen said the decision to participate in the event was great timing for the organization’s 50th anniversary, but also to provide an opportunity to educate attendees on ag innovations and the top key issues faced by farmers.
“There’s been a very good response to the farms (during Open Farm days) especially down south where we have a very diverse farming community.”
Because of this, Michielsen said the society wanted to facilitate a robust itinerary which reflected the multi-faceted contributions of producers in the region in a way that would reach people outside of the industry.
“The idea with this bus tour was not just to get farmers out and farm people out, but get the general Coaldale and area community out to go and see some of the different types of operations and learn a little bit more about what they’re all about,” said Michielsen.
“A lot of people go to the grocery store and buy their groceries,” without actually knowing how or where it is produced and the costs involved.
“They know there is a cost involved, but maybe not if the cost is all from the store, or how much are the farmers getting out of this, and why is the end price so high.”
The tour will highlight sugar beets, a popular crop in the County, and potato farming, which Michielsen said, “is really getting big in our area,” and will include a visit to a local potato storage facility where guests will be able to “see what is involved with keeping potatoes until the following year.”
The tour will also take an in-depth look into the cattle industry, as well as a stop at Nutrien, which will focus on fertilizers and farm safety. Spectrum Brewery will also be involved in the tour, providing refreshments and talking about the local craft beer industry.
The bus tour will have room for 100 participants, but to ensure a seamless experience, bookings required for all aspects of the event, allowing the organizers to plan meals accordingly. Tickets for the tour, lunch, and optional dinner can be conveniently purchased through the link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/open-farm-days-coaldale-ag-society-bus-tour-tickets-639076734717.
For more information on the other exciting events happening on Aug. 19-20 for Open Farm Days, visit https://albertaopenfarmdays.ca/ofd-farms/.