“I am excited to designate Sept. 21 as Agricultural Societies Day in Alberta.

“Agricultural societies are the heart of Alberta’s rural communities, even predating the founding of our province. Alberta is home to 291 agricultural societies, more than anywhere else in Canada.

“These non-profit organizations provide a diverse range of programs and services that improve our agriculture industry and support the needs of their communities.

“From rodeos and bench shows to education programs and conferences, agricultural societies help their communities thrive. Agricultural societies also manage more than 900 facilities across Alberta, including community halls, ice rinks, horse riding arenas and campgrounds. In addition, they distribute more than $300,000 in annual student scholarships and bursaries.

“Our government is proud to continue to support the important work agricultural societies carry out with stable, predictable annual operational funding through the Agricultural Societies Grant Program.

“On behalf of Alberta’s government, thank you to our agricultural societies and the more than 52,000 volunteers who support them. I encourage Albertans to connect with their local agricultural societies and to get involved as a volunteer.”