At one time Alberta children got to stay home from school on the second Friday in June to celebrate Farmer’s Day.
Kevin Hoppins, chairman of the UFA board, remembers those days fondly, but often wondered, “Why my urban classmates also got the day off school as this was Farmer’s Day?”
“On our farm, having a day off of school for ‘Farmer’s Day’ meant that the crop had been seeded or that the spraying was yet to start,” said Hoppins, who farms near Huxley. “So this day offered a rest in between the busy farming season. As time passed I realized this significant day wasn’t just for farmers — it was about the need to honour agriculture in the province.”
Although no longer a province-wide school holiday, the 109-year-old co-operative revived the concept in 2010 to raise awareness of agriculture and its contributions to the province by holding celebrations at its farm and ranch supply stores and petroleum outlets. Information on June 8 events in your area is available at local UFA outlets.