Thousands of city-slickers got a chance to learn more about agriculture, farming and rural life at Calgary Stampede’s annual Aggie Days. This beloved event embodies the Stampede’s initiatives to connect the urban and rural– Aggie Days is a unique opportunity for urban communities to learn about about how and where their food is made, as well as what producers actually do on the farm.

Guests were invited to submit questions and write about their thoughts on agriculture in Alberta
Guests were invited to submit questions and write about their thoughts on agriculture in Alberta

Aggie Days, which turned 30 this year, hosted a wide range of farmers and producer groups at the BMO Centre– kids and their families had the chance to circulate through countless interactive booths, live demonstrations, hands-on agriculture simulators and attend competitions! There was a ton to see and do–over 50 exhibits that span over 100,000 sq ft to be exact. Highlights include:

Pictured: A guest exploring the wheels of a John Deere tractor.
Pictured: A guest exploring the wheels of a John Deere tractor.

Cervus tractor and baler display– Ever wanted to learn about John Deere tractors? Our excited guests spent the afternoon around simulators and displays at Aggie Days.

Are you a horse? reading by president Bill Gray
“Are you a horse?” asked president Bill Gray

Calgary Stampede president, Bill Gray, performing a charming reading of Are you a horse? by Andy Rash.

Aggie Days 2015

Alberta Canola Producers Commission- launched their graphic novel with a special reading of Beneath the Soil by Dawn Ius and James Grasdal.

Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, reads The cow that went ONIK by Nernard Most.

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Harry the Horse turned 30! Our guests serenaded Harry with a happy birthday song and enjoyed a delicious piece of cake.

Aggie Days 2015

It was perfect weather all week long for a trot around Stampede Park. As part of Aggie Day’s commitment to providing engaging, fun and educational activities, wagon rides were available for guests.

Pictured: Stampede Princess Hayely Peckham, and Stampede Princess Kimberley Stewart
Pictured:  Stampede Queen Mick Plemel, Stampede Princess Kimberley Stewart and Stampede Princess Hayely Peckham

Guests also had a chance to mingle with Stampede Royalty!

We helped to cheer on our favourite contenders at the Rodeo!
We helped to cheer on our favourite contenders at the Rodeo!

Aggie Days 2015

This timed trial challenges handlers and their stock dogs to move three sheep through a defined course and into a pen, in the fastest time. Keeping the sheep under control and on course can save valuable seconds. The handler controls the dog, either through whistle or voice commands. The handler must stay in the circle until all the sheep have come through the chute. Time stops when all the sheep are in the pen and the gate is closed.
This timed trial challenges handlers and their stock dogs to move three sheep through a defined course and into a pen, in the fastest time. The handler controls the dog, either through whistle or voice commands. The handler must stay in the circle until all the sheep have come through the chute. Time stops when all the sheep are in the pen and the gate is closed.

Aggie Days featured a variety of rodeo show, stock dog arena trials and sheep sheering demonstrations throughout the week.

Dancers

One of the most popular areas of Aggie Days is the Indian Events exhibit, where guests get to learn more about the cultures and tradition of the Treaty 7 First Nations members. Guests received autographs and paper crowns to commemorate the day from our  beautiful past Indian Princesses.

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For 30 years, Bayer CropScience and the Agriculture Education Committee of the Calgary Stampede has promoted and educated Calgary and district youth on the value and importance of agriculture in everyday life. This year we hosted an Art Challenge where the winning class received a $2,500 Technology Spending Spree and VIP treatment at Aggie Days 2015.

Aggie Days 2015

Congratulations to Chinook Park School for all of your hard work!

Aggie Days 2015

We hope that all of our guests had a fantastic time at the 2015 Aggie Days. If you couldn’t make it this year, consider joining us next year and enjoy going to the farm without ever having to leave the city!