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Agricultural societies recognized for innovative initiatives

The Agricultural Society Innovation Award celebrates initiatives and innovations that positively affect communities.

See event listings and more articles in this edition of Agri-News: February 5, 2024 issue

“Alberta’s agricultural societies continue to demonstrate significant initiative and resilience with new innovations that have a positive impact on their communities,” says Susan Lacombe, program coordinator with the Alberta government. “For their efforts, 3 agricultural societies have been recognized with the 2023 Agricultural Society Innovation Award – KAC Agricultural Society, Stettler District Agricultural Society and La Crete Agricultural Society.”

In 2023, the KAC Agricultural Society partnered with a local school to obtain a hydroponic food modular system, integrated into Altario School's Agriculture Academy. Producing 500 to 600 plants weekly, this initiative addressed food supply chain challenges, providing the community with fresh and affordable produce year-round. The program also offered students hands-on learning opportunities, cultivating skills in entrepreneurship, agri-business, and innovation and technology in agriculture and research.

The Stettler District Agricultural Society pioneered the Community Kitchens program, significantly contributing to the support of underserved residents in the community. By offering its recently upgraded kitchen to the community at no cost, the program has become a catalyst for numerous new projects and opportunities for community groups, families and individuals.

The Heritage Experimental Orchard initiative was established by the La Crete Agricultural Society to boost the variety and abundance of fruit trees in the northern region, bolstering food security and supporting health, economic growth and food stability in northern Alberta. Over time, the project evolved to encompass experimental and educational aspects, with the potential for future economic benefits to the region.

Award recipients were presented with a recognition banner and framed certificate at the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies annual convention during the evening banquet on February 2, 2024.

“There were a number of excellent applications this year, making the final award selection very difficult,” says Lacombe. “Congratulations to all the applicants for this year’s award.”

  • Carstairs & District Agricultural Society for Carstairs Nature Space, a 19-acre urban forest built on land that was unsuitable for development
  • Coaldale and District Agricultural Society for its Open Farm Days bus tour
  • Lac La Biche Agricultural Society for its Alberta Wife Carrying Championship
  • Spruce Grove and District Agricultural Heritage Society for its Community Garden Pathway System Project
  • Stavely Agricultural Society for modifying its rink to host the 2023 Elks National Curling Championships
  • Vulcan & District Agricultural Society for expanding the exhibition grounds to host more and larger events

“This award allows us to work together to champion and celebrate the significant contributions that agricultural societies make, while inspiring others to take action. Agricultural societies matter and this is one small way for us to say thank you for the critical work they do in building a stronger Alberta,” says Lacombe.

For more information, see:

Alberta Agricultural Society Innovation Award


Connect with Susan Lacombe for more information:
Phone: 780-554-3780

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