While digging around in the Stockmen’s Memorial Foundation Library and Archives in Cochrane last summer, reporter Jennifer Blair came across something she described as “a little bit of history,” namely Volume 01, Number 01 of this newspaper, bearing the date January 2004.
Back then it was called The Alberta Express — the word Farmer wouldn’t be added until more than three years later. And it wasn’t really the first edition. That 2004 paper was actually a revamp of Alberta Crops and Beef, a small monthly paper that then owner United Grain Growers created “probably in 1998 or 1999,” according to one of its first editors.
A few years later, UGG merged with Agricore (itself a merger of Alberta Wheat Pool and Manitoba Pool Elevators), then Agricore United decided to get out of farm publications; and the new owner (now Glacier FarmMedia) decided to put more resources into the paper. And so The Alberta Express was born.
That’s a lot of trivia you probably don’t give two hoots about.
But that’s how ‘little bits of history’ work. This thing happens, then that thing, and then such and such.
And before you know it, a bunch of years have gone by.
In celebrating the 15th-ish anniversary of Alberta Farmer, we’re sparing you any more of the history of this publication. (Save for a column by the fellow who decided the province deserved its own farm paper, and oversaw its rebirth and growth.)
Instead, we’re writing about little bits of your history.
It’s not comprehensive or exhaustive. Rather, it’s a chance to look back at a not-too-distant past. An opportunity to think about how things in the provincial farm scene have changed and evolved, and how — bit by bit — we find the road in front of us is constantly changing.