Sustainability and agriculture are an important part of the Calgary Stampede; as such, we work to educate youth about their food and where it comes from.

Journey 2050™ is an educational program that challenges students to apply sustainability concepts in an interactive and innovative way to feed people by the year 2050 when the world’s population reaches nine billion people.

We are proud to work with partners, like Agrium Inc. and Alberta Canola Producers Commission, to engage children and their families in discussions about how the global demand for crops will affect consumption, engineering and industrial sectors locally. The program was developed as a sustainable agriculture education program by Agrium Inc. in collaboration with the Calgary Stampede and funding by the Alberta Canola Producers Commission.  It is offered to schools in many ways, including a fieldtrip at the Agrium Western Event Centre on Stampede Park, an online experience for anyone in the world to participate, and you can download the Sustainability Farm Game from the iTunes App Store for free.

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Pictured: Don Bosco grade seven students learning about sustainable agriculture

What will life be like by mid-century? We know that with more people, consuming more resources and leading ever more technologically complex lives, sustainable agriculture becomes even more challenging. Since the program began last September, more than 4,500 junior high students from 50 schools, have explored what it’s like to sustain a massive population with less arable land, potable water and resources, like oil, to fuel the production and transport of food products.

Journey 2050™ is an inquiry-based, experiential learning program. Students who complete the program have the opportunity to gain insights from three real-life families. These families, from Kenya, India and Alberta were interviewed in depth for the Journey 2050™ program providing students with a global perspective. The Journey 2050™ app gamifies learning: teaching users about the difficult choices farmers must make to balance the use of water, pesticide, fertilizer and arable land. It challenges you to maximize your yield while minimizing environmental impacts.

Pictured: Chuck Magaro and Warren Connell
Pictured: (l) Agrium CEO Chuck Magro, Calgary Stampede CEO Warren Connell

Today, select media guests and I were invited to attend a Journey 2050™ session– we were given iPads with a unique app that allowed us to imagine the lives of farmers in Kenya, India and Alberta. Chuck Magro, president and CEO of Agrium Inc., as well as Warren Connell, CEO of Calgary Stampede, were on hand to speak about the importance of environmental sustainability and walk us through how to use the app.

It was a truly eye-opening experience for me to witness how engaged and passionate youth are when it comes to sustainability. I believe that this program will have a positive impact on future generations and initiates crucial conversations about the environmental impacts of food wastage.