Are you curious about food and agriculture? Do berries bowl you over? If so, circle July 23 on your calendar. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Pacific Agri-Food Centre (PARC) in Agassiz is celebrating an important anniversary that day. This year marks 125 years since the first five research farms, including PARC-Agassiz, were created under what was then called the Department of Agriculture.
The public is invited to attend this free event between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and explore the links between science and farming through interactive tours, exhibits and activities. Find out how PARC-Agassiz is contributing to modern agriculture by helping the sector produce healthier, safer, higher quality, more environmentally-sustainable and abundant food for Canadians.
“Over the last 125 years, Canadian agriculture has changed dramatically and so have our research activities,” says Dr. Sankaran KrishnaRaj, PARC-Agassiz’s Research Manager. “The Centre is a unique mix of modern state-of-the-art research facilities interspersed in 310 hectares of history.”
Research at the Centre covers a wide range of areas, including crop production systems, berry breeding, integrated pest management, poultry genetic resources, animal welfare, and soil, water and air quality. The open house will feature interactive exhibits, research displays, a tractor tour of the research plots, and much more. You’ll see how we are using high tech equipment to study animal behaviour and improve the health and welfare of dairy cattle. You’ll meet our research technicians, farmhands, biologists, and scientists. You can tempt your tastebuds with fresh berries. earn about the growth and development of poultry and learn about tiny critters, fungi and bacteria and the roles they play in agriculture.
Visitors can also browse historical displays or stroll around the Centre’s arboretum, which was first established in the 1890s. Representatives from several industry groups will also be on site to share information about the Fraser Valley’s key agriculture sectors, as well as goodies.
“We’re very proud of the work we do at the Centre,” says Dr. KrishnaRaj. “It’s important to bring more agricultural awareness to the public, so we’re very pleased to host this special day and showcase what we’re doing for Canadians.”
There will be two cake cutting ceremonies during the day, first at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m.
• On June 2, 1886, the first five research farms were created under the Department of Agriculture when the Experimental Farm Station Act received Royal Assent.
• All five research farms still exist today – 125 years later – and are located in Agassiz (British Columbia), Indian Head (Saskatchewan), Brandon (Manitoba), Ottawa (Ontario) and Nappan (Nova Scotia).
• Some of the original farms have expanded to become full research centres, and new centres, farms and stations have opened across the country to support the diverse growing regions in Canada.