Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Hypocrisy of Aggie Days... Are we lying to our children?

**UPDATE: The Calgary Stampede is preventing CLUCK, Urban Ag & Local Food Systems from participating in Aggie Days. After negotiating since 2010, Dr David Chalack sent me an email on March 8, 2012, stating that yet again, we would not be allowed to participate in Aggie Days. Subsequently, Dr Chalack offered to work towards our participation in 2013. Sceptical after 3 years of verbal promises, we asked for a commitment on paper. That commitment was not provided and we were told to wait a month. Subsequently, we are no longer waiting for the Calgary Stampede.

Apparently Max Fritz is the individual who has turned us down each year. He can be reached at:

Max Fritz   mfritz@calgarystampede.com
Ph: (403) 261-0164
Senior Agriculture Manager
Industry Relations & Business Development

Full Disclosure: Dr David Chalack has been a gentleman throughout this process. Regrettably, I believe the relationship that has developed between us will become a casualty. Thank you, David, for your efforts over the last 3 years.

Original Blog Post
This is the 3rd year in a row that CLUCK has been denied an opportunity to participate in the Calgary Stampede Aggie Days. We even agreed to participate under the banner of Urban Ag, which was also turned down. So, no Urban Ag display promoting opportunities to Calgary kids on how to connect to their Local Food System and 1000's of Calgary kids & students see a very distorted version of our food system at this event.

Stampede is celebrating its 100th Anniversary. A celebration of our rich agricultural heritage?

It borders precariously on lying to our children.

This picture does not accurately represent a chick in the Alberta Food System.

Here's the very simple and modest proposal to the Calgary Stampede:

Urban Ag booth at Aggie Days Proposal:

-1 booth for Urban Ag featuring:

• Prepare a ground plot
• Start & Transplant seedlings
• Use raised beds
• Provide cold protection
• Choose plant varieties best suited for Calgary
• Build simple plant supports
• Make compost
• Save seeds from your own plants
• Use containers for selected types of plants
• Start a school garden

-Booth would highlight activities that children/students can become involved with here in Calgary.
-Focus on how to grow food in an urban environment.
-Highlight initiatives around growing food in an urban environment.
-Booth would have an activity for the students.
-Booth would help students make the "food connection" and encourage respect for all food producers.
-Booth is to be free of political messages.
-Booth would subscribe to the same rules as all other participants.
-A good showing in 2012 opens the door to increased involvement in the future. 

This was turned down by the Stampede on its 100th Anniversary.


Alberta Barley Commission
Alberta Beef Producers
Alberta Canola Producers Commission
Alberta Chicken Producers
Alberta Egg Producers
Alberta Farm Animal Care
Alberta Irrigation Projects Association
Alberta Milk
Alberta Pulse Growers Commission
Alberta SPCA
ATCO EnergySense
Bar U Ranch NHP
Calgary & District Beekeepers Association
Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull Committee & Draft Horse Town
Calgary Stampede Swine Committee
Calgary Stampede Queens' Alumni
Cows and Fish
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Equine Display
Farmer Dave
Grain Display
Limarno Llamas
Potato Growers of Alberta
Science Alberta Foundation
There's a Heifer in your Tank (University of Alberta)
University of Calgary Faculty of Verterinary Medicine