Rocky View County (RVC) is set to host its annual Agricultural (Ag) Tour on July 21, after a three-year hiatus brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to cancel the last two Ag Tour events was not easy, according to the County’s agricultural services officer Laura Polie.
“Safety-wise, because we do have passenger busses and close proximity, it just wasn’t feasible,” Polie said. “We didn’t pursue it in those days because of the provincial regulations.”
Although safety was a top priority for the County, cancelling the tour was unfortunate because they were not able to showcase some of the agriculturally-centred businesses within Rocky View County, Polie added.
This year, the tour is back to promote these businesses for the first time since 2019, without any COVID-19 restrictions in place.
“We have many participants that have come year after year, so they were excited as well and they contacted us way before we even had registration open,” Polie said.
Although the itinerary is set to possibly change, the tour will focus on the southeast quadrant of the county. Visitors will tour the Calgary Farmyard, Winter’s Turkeys Farm, Alberta Carriage Supply, and Decisive Farming by Telus Agriculture.
Registration for the tour is $50 per attendee, which includes the coach bus fare as well as lunch and dinner. Those interested can register online or by calling 403-230-1401.
While the tour can accommodate 90 participants, registration closes on July 15.
Visiting different agriculturally-focused sites, tour participants have an opportunity to learn about new innovations in farming technology as well as become more aware of the different agribusinesses the county has to offer.
“We’re promoting agricultural – it’s what feeds people,” Polie said. “It’s an opportunity to show people what the producers do and what they contribute to.”
Breaking for lunch, a 4-H speaker will address the tour and RVC’s 2022 Master Farming Family Award will be presented to the winning family.
To be deemed a Master Farming Family, neighbours or fellow producers nominate a family that practices innovative technical and sustainable farm practices, leads a farm and/or agricultural business, and is involved in their community. A service board then reads the applications and selects who best meets the criteria for the award, according to Polie.
The tour will continue after lunch and will wrap up with a dinner at the Balzac Community Hall.
Celebrating 35 years of touring, Polie said the County’s popular Ag Tours' biggest accomplishment is seeing producers' innovations.
“We’ve come a long way,” she said. “As we progress, producers are progressing as well. The technology and the innovations that are coming about, and a lot of different agribusinesses…they’ve also had their own accomplishments.
“It’s an opportunity for us to showcase producers and agribusiness in the county.”