Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – Agriculture was once again at the forefront of the Calgary Stampede.
Cherie Copithorne – Barnes is a Director with the Calgary Stampede.
Copithorne – Barnes, who oversees the Agri-Food Committee, says with the Calgary Stampede going ahead it allowed them to once again showcase agriculture.
“If you’re an agricultural producer, the pandemic really hasn’t changed our lives too much, but what it has done is inhibited us from being able to really kind of showcase exactly what it is that we have as product,” Copithorne-Barnes said.
“The last two years has really allowed a lot of people to become very innovative in the products that we’re able to produce here until they’re no. So the Calgary Stampede gives us a tremendous opportunity to be able to weather it”
She says agriculture was an economic leader during the pandemic.
“Economic numbers have just come out and a study from the Simpson Center at the University of Calgary has proven that agri-food has led the way when it comes to the revenues generated from agrifood in this province.”
Copithorne-Barnes adds the Calgary Stampede has a commitment to sourcing some local food from local farmers here in Alberta.
“It’s a showcase of whether it’s in a food truck or whether it’s in the Nutrition Western Events Center and Ag-tivity in the City. We’ve got different corners of showcasing all the neat things that we have in southern Alberta.”
“Our agrifood mandate specifically states we want to showcase everything that we can produce here in southern Alberta.”
Copithorne – Barnes says farmers showed great ingenuity during the pandemic to find new ways to get their products to consumers.
“It’s still about collaboration, it’s still about working with everybody.”
She says it is going to take a concerted effort as they are consistently siloed in the commodities market and in the areas that they need to work in.
“If we’re really going to elevate southern Alberta agriculture in the world, we’re going to have to do this together and really help not only ourselves feel confident in promoting to the world, but we got to garner the support of our politicians and our consumers alike.”
“It’s going to take all of us to really get out there.”