Aggie Days hosted at the Nutrien Events Centre this past weekend, is an event for agriculture organizations to display their farming skills to Calgarians. Farmers from all around Alberta, traveled to Calgary to give city folk an idea of the life of a farmer. Not only did the farmers talk about their day-to-day routine, but they talked about the future of the agriculture industry. With the world’s population growing every single day, a farmer now faces a heavier workload than ever before. According to the Canadian Animal Health Institute, a farmer living in the 1900’s produced only enough food for ten people. Today, each farmer is expected to produce enough food for 120 people. By 2050, the agriculture industry is expected to produce enough food to support nearly ten billion people.
“So we’re focused on the science behind it of trying to find new and better varieties that will produce more food,”
Thomas McDade, Agricultural Director of Potato Growers of Alberta says his organization plans to tackle the issue of feeding the growing population by finding strains of crops that will survive pests and diseases.
“So we’re focused on the science behind it of trying to find new and better varieties that will produce more food,” he explains. “[seeds that] will produce higher yielding crops [and] will use nutrients whether it’s fertilizer or water.” he further explains.
Many agricultural organizations still fear that finding disease-resistant, higher yielding crops still isn’t enough to feed the world. Mark Jensen, Operation and Maintenance Superintendent of Raymond Irrigation believes irrigation is key to world food security. He says irrigation waters crops that otherwise would be wasted during times of drought.
“I believe that irrigation will be a big part of feeding all these extra mouths that are going to come or at least we’ve been told will come.” Jensen said.
Each organization at Aggie Days had a different approach on achieving global food sustainability. Despite the huge responsibility of feeding the world in an environmentally-friendly manner, the agricultural organizations at Aggie Days still felt determined in finding ways to feed society for generations to come.