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Alberta Open Farm Days gives inside look into agriculture industry

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WATCH ABOVE: The Agriculure industry in Alberta is a multi-billion dollar business - but most people don't know much about it, This weekend, farmers around the province opened their gates to the public to show them what they do Allie Miller reports – Aug 22, 2016

The agriculture industry in Alberta is a multi-billion dollar business but most people don’t know much about it.

This weekend, farmers around the province opened their gates to the public to show them what they do.

Crowds of all ages gathered at the Farming Research Centre outside Lethbridge to learn more about Alberta’s agriculture industry Sunday.

This is just one of several events province wide, put on for Alberta Open Farm Days.

“Knowledge is really important and we can all learn something every day,” Rosella Hadnagy, an Open Farm Day attendee, said. “It doesn’t matter if we’re younger or we’re older.”

The weekend long agro-tourism event is designed to help farmers educate their urban neighbours about food production.

“We need to continue to have that connection, so they understand how food is produced and the types of challenges and efforts we go through to have a thriving industry,” Ken Coles, Farming Smarter general manager, said.

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Attendees had a firsthand look at farm equipment, crops and were even able to get up close and personal with some honey bees, all with hopes of shedding a light on Alberta’s second largest industry.

“Agriculture is so essential for food production,” Kevin Serfas, a farmer, said. “No matter if you’re making feed grain or canola, you know it’s going for human consumption or animal consumption, it is basically putting food on our table.”

The initiative allows those living in urban centres to experience the agriculture sector first hand.

“People are so far removed from the farm now,” Serfas said. “It’s nice to have them come here and see what we do.”

The experience and connection made at the event are more important than ever, especially after a challenging year.

“They forget that we had no winter at all, and it was basically dry until the first week of July, so we’ve got some tough crops,” Servas said.

Agriculture is an important part of Alberta’s economy, and by promoting understanding, Open Farm Days allows Albertan’s to see firsthand the hard work that is being done to get local food onto the dinner table.

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