A group of Olds-area dairy farmers who developed an innovative consumer outreach program are this year’s winner of Award of Distinction for Communication from Alberta Farm Animal Care.
“Six years ago the East Olds Dairy Farmers group, which is made up of several dairy farm families, developed the idea to host a breakfast for their community to help the public learn about what dairy farmers do,” AFAC said in a news release. “With the support of the Southern Alberta Holstein Club and Alberta Milk, the first Breakfast on the Dairy Farm event was delivered in 2013 drawing 348 people to a single location. The initiative has carried on as an annual series, expanding to two locations hosting over 1,000 people each year.”
A third location in the northern part of the province is planned for this year.
“Good communication is one of the most important things in life,” said Arie Van den Broek, who has been involved in the project since its inception. “We as producers like to show where the milk comes from, how we take care of our animals and our neighbours. ‘Open that farm gate and let people come in’ — that’s what we always say.”
More than 3,400 people have attended the annual summer event.
Lakeland College received the Award of Distinction for Industry Leadership for its commitment to animal welfare.
“Among key examples of the college’s focus on livestock welfare, students in the Animal Science Technology Program complete an entire semester of animal handling, welfare, and ethics during their first year of studies alone,” AFAC said.
The program also has a hands-on lab component that teaches students low-stress handling techniques.