by Jan Cote, AAFC, Ag in the City Chair

The fifth annual Agriculture in the City will be held at the Mall at Lawson Heights, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Saturday April 9, 2016. Ag in the City is a free, family event that that demonstrates the role agriculture plays in everyone’s daily lives.

The goal of Ag in the City is to educate urban audiences about agriculture by identifying connections between farming and food. For those who have no direct contact with agriculture and food production, understanding where their food comes from, and the role of various players in the ag industry might not be clear. By understanding modern agricultural practices, consumers can make more informed decisions about food options, recognize the value of Saskatchewan-made products (both food and non-food) and appreciate that the agriculture industry has an impact on regional, national and global economies. 

The event  is developed and executed by a collaborative group of key stakeholders and funded, in large part, by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Other partners in the planning process represent Ag-West Bio, the University of Saskatchewan College of Agriculture and Bioresources, Saskatchewan Egg Producers, Saskatchewan Pork Producers, Saskatchewan Milk Producers, the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre and the Saskatchewan Pulse Growers. Several of these partner organizations are also event sponsors, including Ag-West Bio. 

Without the hands on involvement of the volunteer planning committee, the event would not be as interactive, engaging or well promoted. The committee is supported by a professional event manager, who greatly improves the oversight of the event. Ag-West Bio also handles accounting needs for the event.

The one-day event features a trade show, main stage cooking demonstrations, food sampling and hands-on demonstrations and activities at six activity zones set up in the main aisle of the mall. 

The Zone concept was started in 2015 and will continue this year. It includes: 

– Animal Agriculture Zone 
– Career Zone 
– Crops Zone 
– Food Zone 
– Kids Zone 
– Science Zone 

The Science Zone is organized by Ag-West Bio’s Jackie Robin. The zone has nearly a dozen exhibitors including Genome Prairie, Ag in the City, Dow Agrosciences, and more – who will offer hands-on activities for the visiting families.

On the main stage, Rock 102’s Mark “Shack” Loshack of “Cooked with Shack” is back for a second year. With help from his co-host, Adele Buettner of Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan, he will turn Saskatchewan-produced ingredients into simple, nutritious dishes. The popular Ag Trivia Gameshow, which allows participants to test their knowledge of the industry and win fun prizes, will also be continued this year.

If you work in the agriculture industry, the committee encourages you to get involved, either through sponsorship or as an exhibitor. And of course, bring your friends and family out to this fun event! 

Visit the event website for more information.



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