AG Notes

Alta. Open Farm Days registration available

Alberta farms and ranches can register to participate in this year’s Open Farm Days, which will be held Aug. 14-15.

The weekend event showcases the province’s agriculture industry and growing the agri-tourism sector. Host farms open their gates to share their agricultural experiences with their urban neighbours and to help them understand where their food comes from.

More than 77 host farms participated last year, and 24 culinary events helped connect urban and rural Albertans. Host farms have included traditional farms, livestock (bison, cattle, alpaca, sheep, llama, goat, poultry) farms and ranches, organic operations, corn mazes, wineries, meaderies, craft breweries, stables, petting zoos, along with honey, fruit, vegetable, grain and U-pick farms.

Open Farm Days has seen nearly 134,000 person visits to 711 Alberta farms since 2013, injecting close to $1 million into the rural economy through on-farm sales.

Host farms can participate either day or both days, and educational materials about hosting are available.

Deadline for registration is May 31.

Sask. agrologists recognized

Five individuals and one organization were recognized at the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists’ 75th annual general meeting earlier this year.

Their contributions and accomplishments have influenced the agriculture and bioresources sector within Saskatchewan.

  • Blair McClinton PAg, Recognition Award
  • Elliott Hildebrand PAg, Outstanding Young Agrologist
  • Murad Al-Katib, AGT Food, Honorary Life Membership Award
  • Kevin Hursh PAg, Distinguished Award
  • Richard Szwydky PAg, Distinguished Award (presented posthumously)
  • G-Mac’s AgTeam, Agrology Excellence Award

For more information, visit sia.sk.ca.

AFSC makes hail insurance donation

The Alberta Financial Services Corp. will donate the first $80 per acre of hail insurance for every Canadian Foodgrains Bank growing project in the province.

Growing projects in Alberta raised $1.7 million last year to help end global hunger.

Hunger response projects through the foodgrains bank include emergency humanitarian projects in countries such as Syria and South Sudan and development projects that provide agricultural training and help lift people out of poverty in the longer term.

U of S livestock centre gets new director

Scott Wright will be the new director of the University of Saskatchewan’s Livestock and Forage Centre of Excellence, effective May 19.

He succeeds Bruce Coulman, whose last day as interim LFCE director is May 28, enabling a week and a half transition period.

Wright’s career started in beef and forage research. Over the years he has held numerous leadership positions in agriculture, including executive director of the university’s Feeds Innovation Institute and director positions with Agriculture Canada.

He obtained his master’s degree in animal science and his PhD in plant breeding from the U of S.

Since 2013, he has worked at the Star Group, an organization comprising companies that specialize in different sectors of the fresh produce industry. He held the positions of senior vice-president, head grower and interim general manager at Star Group before joining the LFCE.

Wright will jointly report to Angela Bedard-Haughn, dean of the university’s agriculture college, and Gillian Muir, interim dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Both deans oversee the centre on behalf of the university’s vice-president for research.

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