“Albertans, now more than ever, are interested in exploring and learning more about Alberta grown food and the producers who grow it,” reports Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. With this in mind, it is an ideal time for farmers, ranchers and agriculture tourism operators to open their gates and take part in the eighth annual Alberta Open Farm Days on August 15-16, 2020.
Alberta Open Farm Days is a two-day, province-wide, family-friendly event that gives Canadians a chance to spend a beautiful summer’s day visiting farms and ranches, viewing demonstrations, tasting local foods, purchasing locally grown produce and learning about where their food comes from.
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry reports that in 2019, more than 150 host farms were part of Open Farm Days. Host farms 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.
Since 2013, Open Farm Days has seen nearly 125,000 person visits to 634 Alberta farms, injecting close to $900,000 into the rural economy through on-farm sales.
This year, Alberta Open Farm Days anticipates over 100 participating farms, ranches and agriculture tourism operators to host visitors to showcase Alberta’s agriculture industry and growing rural tourism sector.
In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, organizers will be ensuring participants follow all provincial regulations. According to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, participating farmers and ranchers will receive support, such as hand sanitizers, insurance, access to a culinary coach, and other resources to make hosting the event easier and safer. Organizers are setting up an online booking system to manage the number of visitors coming to the farms and ranches and will offer alternative ways for farms and ranches to participate during the event weekend, such as instructional videos and virtual tours. For participating farms or ranches who wish to host culinary events, organizers will help connect them with the corresponding Alberta Health Services staff in the region.
To register your farm, ranch, or agriculture tourism business as a participating location, visit the Alberta Open Farm Day website and submit your application in by June 30.