Celebrating first Agriculture Day by meeting in the middle

Canada’s first Agriculture Day celebration Feb. 16 saw AdFarmers get involved by leading an industry panel in Ottawa to hosting a local food potluck in Guelph to a dinner in a barn in the middle of Alberta.

The #MeetInTheMiddle event, held at Willow Lake Barns just east of Olds, Alberta, drew more than 150 diverse souls: bloggers, chefs, farmers, communicators, journalists, equipment sales reps, commodity groups, and more. The purpose was to truly ‘meet in the middle’ and enjoy a dialogue about food and farming from all points of view. While consumers want to know more about how and where their food is grown or produced they are also slipping further away from any connection to on-the-ground farming. The seating at the long tables ensured a lively and diverse mix of personalities and opinions. Each course was prepared by a different local chef and featured food grown in Alberta, paired with a craft beverage from a local brewery or distillery. Each chef stepped out front to describe how they had put together the meal and how they work directly with local farmers to source high quality products.

I asked a young fifth generation crop farmer seated at my table how the average Canadian could show support for farmers. “Just keep supporting our products and believe in what we’re doing,” he said without pause. “We believe in what we’re doing and have a lot of pride. We want people to know that. We’re proud to grow their food.”

Special thanks to Terry Andryo and ATB and all the other partners who made this event possible.