Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Aggie Days!

Every spring the Calgary Stampede hosts an agricultural expo called Aggie Days.  This year we go on April 18 to April 22 in the BMO Centre at Stampede Park in Calgary. The primary purpose of Aggie Days is to show elementary school children in the city where their food comes from. 

I have been involved with Aggie Days for almost twenty years.  I first became involved when I was a classroom teacher.  I was amazed at how little the kids knew about the production of food here in Alberta.  Even kids in the rural schools I worked in, for the most part, had little knowledge of Alberta's agriculture! 

As more and more Albertans become urbanites, I think the importance of programs like Aggie Days grows!

I grew up in the city so my knowledge of Alberta's agriculture needed some help too!  I married into a farm family and my experiences on their farms (east of Granum, Alberta) helped tremendously! 

Over the years I have gently twisted a few arms here in and around Beiseker to help, too.  With the help of local producers we managed to create a beef presentation and a grain thrashing demonstration which are still a part of Aggie Days today.

Aggie Days attracts more than 10,000 elementary school kids with their teachers and supervisors to our Educational Component which runs Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  The weekend is Family Fun Days when over 25,000 visitors come down to the BMO Centre at Stampede Park to see exactly how Alberta's farmers and ranchers feed us.  Most of us at Aggie Days; organizers, exhibitors, and presenters are volunteers!

For the last three years, I've combined my love of aviation and my involvement in Aggie Days by bringing an aerial applicator (crop dusting) airplane from the Aero Space Museum into Aggie Days!  The spray plane spent its whole flying life over the fields of Southern Alberta.  When it was retired it was donated to the museum.  Now it helps teach young people that aerial application isn't as bad as some make it out to be. 

More on Aggie Days later,  Stay tuned.


  1. Hi Ray! Bayer CropScience is looking forward to this years Aggie Days as well. Our employees enjoy teaching kids where their food comes from and how it grows with samples of seeds, bugs and so much more! We look forward to seeing you at our booth.

  2. Hi Myla; Bayer Crop Science has been a big part of Aggie Days for several years now. Their contribution to our program is greatly appreciated! And they are one of several sponsors of Aggie Days. Without them all, we couldn't accomplish what we do! I will be dropping around to the Bayer Crop Science booth to say "Hi" and "Thank You!"