July 10, 2019

AdFarm says OOHAY to the Calgary Stampede

By Calissa Reid

The world’s richest tournament style rodeo, a well-stacked list of musical acts, Butterbeer ice cream…it’s no wonder they call the Calgary Stampede the greatest outdoor show on earth. But I have a shameful secret: I’ve never Stampeded before (yes, that is capitalized, as it represents both a brand and a globally unique experience). As a new Calgarian and AdFarmer, I finally had the chance to Stampede, and I brought you along with me.

Since the Calgary Stampede began in 1886, agriculture has been at the forefront of the event. Stampede offers a unique opportunity for growers and producers—it gives them a direct channel to consumers, allowing them to educate visitors on Canadian agriculture. About 66 per cent of Stampede guests visit the Ag-zone during their visit. With an average attendance of around 1.2 million people, almost 800,000 consumers are learning more about the agri-food industry at Stampede each year. This is more important than ever before as we look to help farmers connect with consumers and answer their questions.

So for my first time at Stampede, I went to the agriculture showcases in the Nutrien Western Event Centre to find out more about Alberta ag, straight from the experts.

Egg Farmers of Alberta

Egg Farmers of Alberta booth at Calgary Stampede

There’s plenty of opportunity to learn about one of Canada’s favourite breakfast foods at the Egg Farmers of Alberta booth. The Egg Farmers of Alberta is a farmer-supported not-for-profit organization that’s managed the egg industry in Alberta since the ‘60s.

It’s a priority for egg farmers to provide nutritious, affordable and fresh eggs to Albertans. And I really do mean fresh—most eggs are on grocery store shelves within seven days from when they were laid! It takes a lot of human and chicken power to ensure there is a constant supply of fresh, local eggs available to Albertans. The egg industry creates over 1,700 jobs in the province.

Alberta Wheat Commission

As an avid lover of all things wheat, of course I had to stop at the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions’ booth to meet Wally Wheat and Betty Barley. The Alberta Wheat Commission launched in 2012 with a mission to increase the long-term profitability of wheat and Alberta wheat producers.

When you consider its adaptability, nutritional value and versatility, it’s easy to see why wheat is the world’s most important grain.  In fact, wheat is the third largest production crop around the globe and the largest crop grown in Canada. In 2015, Canadian farmers grew wheat on more than 24 million acres—that’s about the same amount of land as Newfoundland and Labrador!

UFA Cattle Trail

The UFA Cattle Trail takes you along the journey of Canadian beef, from calving to different cuts of beef on the dinner table. What I found most interesting on the trail, were the facts provided by the Canadian Round Table for Sustainable Beef (CRSB).

To start things off, producing 1KG of beef produces 15 per cent less greenhouse gases than it did in 1981, thanks to innovation and efficiency. And even more compelling, the grasslands that cattle graze on, sequester carbon emissions of 3.62 million cars per year. With more and more farmers committing to producing sustainable beef, these numbers will only continue to grow.

Now that I’m no longer a Stampede rookie, I can agree that the Calgary Stampede truly is the greatest outdoor show on earth.

Calissa Reid is a PR and Content Specialist at AdFarm with Saskatchewan farm roots.  Although she comes from the prairies, Calissa is happiest hiking in the mountains.