More than 100 farms will swing open their gates to the public on Aug. 19 and 20 for the fifth annual Open Farm Days event that provides people with a chance to look at various agricultural operations as well as see chefs prepare Alberta-grown items at special events.                                File photo

More than 100 farms will swing open their gates to the public on Aug. 19 and 20 for the fifth annual Open Farm Days event that provides people with a chance to look at various agricultural operations as well as see chefs prepare Alberta-grown items at special events. File photo

Central Alberta farms again to showcase Alberta agriculture

From berries and goats to cow and corn, Alberta’s fifth annual Open Farm Days set for this coming weekend

Showing off just what agriculture means to Alberta is exactly what Open Farm Days is all about.

And, for the time since the event began in 2012, the entire weekend will be filled with opportunities to witness first-hand the importance farms, ranches and agri-tourism is.

Open Farm Days — a collaboration of the Alberta government, Ag for Life, Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies, Travel Alberta and participating farms, ranches and agricultural societies — will run Aug. 19 and 20 at more than 100 locations across Alberta with over 20 food tasting events also taking place in various areas.

“Alberta has a well-earned reputation for high-quality agricultural products, thanks to the hard work and commitment to excellence of our forward-thinking producers and agri-businesses,” stated Alberta Agriculture and Forestry minister Oneil Carlier in a release.

“Open Farm Days is a great opportunity for Albertans to learn more about how our food is produced and how our province’s agri-food industry is growing and evolving.”

Due to the popularity of the event last year, host sites and culinary events will be held on both days in order to make it easier for people to experience more of what the province’s agriculture sector has to offer.

In central Alberta, there are around 35 farms that will swing open their gates to the public. A few in the local area include Golden Willow Ranch’s elk farm near Clive, a full day bus tour of operations around Stettler, Canolapalooza at the Agriculture and Agri-food research station at Lacombe as well as a grand tasting tour around Lacombe and the Bos family goat farm operation near Ponoka.

Ricardo Miranda, Alberta’s culture and tourism minister, stated the weekend will be a great chance to meet producers and chefs, both of whom help make the great food people enjoy.

“Open Farm Days is a celebration of the rural lifestyle and an education about where our food comes from. I encourage all Albertans and visitors to start planning for this outstanding staycation opportunity at a variety of host sites across the province,” Miranda said.

For a full listing of culinary events and participating farms plus for help to plot a trip to various farms and events, visit them on the web at www.albertafarmdays.com.