Did you know that Alberta is the top exporter of black beans to Mexico? Or that 75 per cent of milk consumed around the world is goat’s milk? Those are just a few of the fun and fabulous things I learned about agriculture at my very first Aggie Days.
Being from Calgary, I had heard about Aggie Days many times, but had never had the opportunity to attend. As a brand new Calgary Stampede employee, I took the opportunity to head over to The Nutrien Western Event Centre and agriculture barn to experience Aggie Days for the first time, April 3-7.
If you’re like me, you may have found yourself wandering the aisles of your local grocery store and thought to yourself, where does all of this food come from? If you have, or even if you haven’t, Aggie Days is a fantastic place to help you solve this mystery.
For more than 30 years, the Calgary Stampede has been hosting this free family-friendly event each spring, where local producers and exhibitors join forces with our amazing Stampede volunteers to bring the farm to the city and help us understand where our food comes from.
Potatoes: Fresh from the farm
As I first walked in, I was surrounded by a buzz of energy and excitement. Nearly ten thousand students experience Aggie Days over three days, and I found myself experiencing it through their eyes, exploring the more than 50 interactive exhibits and experiences, which included getting up close and personal with adorable animals and hands-on educational experiences! It wouldn’t be Aggie Days without the baby goats, testing your might by comparing your strength to a heavy horse’s on the Incredi-pull and learning some incredible facts about beans, bees and so much more.
Baby goat poses for his close-up
I took a break from the fun before heading back to a brand new addition to Aggie Days this year – Feed Your Mind, an adult only event held in the evening on Thursday, April 4. This was definitely a change of pace from earlier in the day and allowed for guests to interact and have discussions with the exhibitors whose passion for their work is evident in their willingness to answer any and all of your questions on food production.
To top things off, there was a variety of amazing local food samples on hand for everyone to enjoy! We enjoyed charcuterie spreads with local cheeses and cured meats, lamb chorizo on a bed of Manchego dusted couscous, micro green salad with a bright vinaigrette, steak bites with chimichurri sauce and chicken sliders.
I discovered there is definitely no shortage of information and fun to be had at Aggie Days, and I know I’ll be back again next year. Don’t worry if you missed out this time around — many of the exhibits will return during this year’s Stampede, July 5 –14, 2019!