To bring consumers closer to the agricultural industry, Alberta Open Farm Days (AOFD) is seeking farmers in the area to open their businesses for a two-day event in August. 

Tim Carson, CEO of Alberta Open Farm Days, explained that “open farm days are an opportunity for consumers to meet the producers. Farms, ranchers, and agritourism operators open their facilities for consumers to come through and check out what’s going on there.” 

The event takes place on August 17–18, and AOFD is seeking farmers in the Strathmore area to showcase their businesses and become host farms. 

“Right now, we have over 100 host farms all across Alberta that will be able to provide an extremely educational experience on where food comes from and the agricultural industry here in Alberta,” Carson said. 

According to Carson, many farms in the Strathmore and Calgary areas have participated and registered as host farms. 

One of AOFD's most important missions is to bring Albertans back to the farm and to their roots. 

“In this day and age, as Albertans, we are sometimes three or four generations away from the farm. We are no longer heading back there to help our grandparents dig potatoes, and we have lost that connection to the land.” 

“The agriculture industry is a very significant industry here in Alberta, so having an opportunity to connect the consumer directly to those creating some of the best food in the world is a true privilege,” Carson said. 

AOFD chooses a different theme each year, and 2024 is the “year of the alpaca.” 

“This year, we chose to spotlight the diversity of agriculture here in Alberta. We chose alpacas because they are a relatively new species to Alberta. But there are 28,500 alpacas in Canada, 40 percent of them right here in Alberta.” 

Over 400 farms in the province are alpaca farms, which play an important role in Alberta's thriving fiber industry. 

AOFD is specifically seeking farms in Strathmore to represent the diversity of agriculture in the province. 

“We have folks involved from Grand Prairie to Lethbridge. Agriculture happens across our great province, and having each region represented is wonderful.” 

Any farmers interested in showcasing their businesses during AOFD will receive nothing but benefits and will have the opportunity to share their stories with people who want to learn about agriculture. 

“One of the best things about AOFD is that the farmers can tell their own story about how they are stewarding the land, the products they produce, the care that is taken to produce them, and really being able to talk to the consumer directly.”

Farms also benefit from AOFD's strong “farm to consumer sales program,” providing free marketing and agricultural business exposure. 

“In the direct farm-to-consumer sales program, well over $1,000,000 in sales go directly to the farms. It's an opportunity to diversify your revenue, tell your great story, and be involved in the agritourism industry,” Carson said. 

This program cuts out the middleman and allows farmers to sell their products directly to their customers. 

“As consumers become increasingly interested in where their food comes from, this is just another opportunity to create a loyal customer because now you have created a relationship beyond the sale.” 

Applying to become a host farm is free, and AOFD will supply you with signage, print material, and various other support programs. 

“This is an incubator project for small businesses. If you are looking to diversify your farm income or want to be involved in agritourism, this is a great opportunity to utilize our marketing to promote your business and ensure that you have market share on at least a provincial level where people can come out and experience what you have to offer.” 

Any farms interested in opening their business for the two-day event on August 17 and 18 can apply on the AOFD website. 

For more information about AOFD, you can visit the website here

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