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Taking an interest in agriculture

Farming Smarter offered a free public event in conjunction with Alberta Open Farm Days (OFD) and welcomed 170 people on August 15, 2020. Nearly 80% of people who joined us live in the city and over 50% had never been to an OFD event before!

Lewis Baarda and Toby Mandel talking to the crowd about the sprayer demostration.

“This event is great for people not involved in agriculture,” said Jamie Puchinger, assistant manager at Farming Smarter. “They can come to this event and see first-hand how sophisticated and technologically advanced the industry is today.”

A highlight is the wagon ride into the research field where Executive Director, Ken Coles, shares his knowledge and passion with participants. This year he talked about Integrated Pest Management and demonstrated insect sweeping before letting everyone give it a try.

Stations were set up where people could learn something different from each of the exhibitors. This year 24 organizations contributed stations and exhibitors included independent agronomists, value added food companies, urban agriculture, ag technology, watershed groups and much more.

Executive Director, Ken Coles, talks about the insects that were found by sweeping in the fields to the wagon riders.

Visitors learned about herbicides, winter wheat, four things needed to grow plants, urban hen keeping, soil, watershed stewardship, antibiotics in beef cattle, use of drones in agriculture, variable rate technology and the flour used to make donuts.

According to evaluations, 94% of respondents had fun and said they would come again next year.

Watch our website for information about Open Farm Day 2021 taking place on August 21. Come learn new and different things about this ever-changing industry that feeds us!