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Open Farm Days breaks records

Posted on January 5, 2017 by Westwind Weekly

Dave Mabell
Southern Alberta Newspapers

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Organizers say the 2016 edition of “Open Farm Days” broke all records. Visits were up 75 per cent, they report, while on-site product sales jumped 35 per cent.
The number of family farms taking part increased as well, with more than 90 across the province opening their farm gates to visitors last August. And many were in southern Alberta.
Close to 18,000 visits were recorded over the late-August weekend. And hosts offered 26 culinary “farm to table” experiences along with opportunities to learn about food production today.
And there was more. Southern Alberta producers staged a draft horse demonstration near Raymond, a saskatoon berry picking opportunity north of Taber and close-up demonstrations of a typical prairies grain elevator at Nanton.
Organizers say Alberta Open Farms Days aims at growing greater tourism opportunities which support growth in local food sectors – in turn, supporting economic diversification and job creation in Alberta’s agriculture, culinary and tourism sectors. It’s a collaborative project of the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies, Ag for Life, Travel Alberta and the provincial government.
“Open Farm Days continues to provide a great opportunity to connect with Alberta’s exceptional farmers and learn more about how our food is produced,” says Oneill Carlier, the province’s minister of agriculture and forestry.

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