To the Editor:
For almost 75 years, Albertans have celebrated Farmers’ Day on the first Friday of June.
Farmers’ Day was established in 1945. Six years later, the Alberta government made the first Friday in June an official holiday. Schools were closed for the day and festivals held across the province to celebrate farmers and agriculture.
While it is no longer a public holiday, farmers are still an integral part of our community and we need to recognize their achievements. I am proud of my connection to agriculture. Looking out my front window I can see farmers seeding, spraying or harvesting. I have taken my turn on the night calving shift on cold winter nights.
When Farmers’ Day was established, my father-in-law, or his father, could not imagine satellites would guide tractors down the fields in Vanrena; cattle would be sold through internet auctions and cows would be milked by robots.
Today, my neighbours are just as likely to grow hemp, quinoa, fababeans and lentils, as wheat, barley and oats like their grandfathers. Canola, a Canadian invention and one of Alberta’s most valuable crops is also one of the healthiest oils in the world. Alberta barley breeders created new malt barley varieties used in Alberta’s growing craft beer industry.
I recognize the hard work of my farmer neighbours and the farmers across the province. As the MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley, I know how important it is for everyone to stop and celebrate the accomplishments of today’s farmers. On June 8, let’s take time to recognise our farmers for the incredible job they do.
MLA Marg McCuaig-Boyd