Bringing agriculture to the big city
Marketing and events co-ordinator, Lauren Reid, brings Alberta Barley to agriculture events across the province.
Like most people born and raised in the city, Lauren Reid, marketing and events co-ordinator for Alberta Barley, was a relative newcomer to agriculture.
“I didn’t come from a farming background,” the Calgary native explained. “As a city kid, you don’t often think about where your food comes from.”
However, after a year at Alberta Barley, Reid has quickly learned how much of an impact agriculture has on the daily lives of Albertans. “From seeding to harvest, and how our food gets to the grocery store, it’s incredible how complex and multifaceted the whole process is,” said Reid. “However, as a consumer, these were the things that rarely crossed my mind.”
Nowadays, Reid is working to change that. As the face of Alberta Barley at events across the province, she has the unique opportunity to interact with the general public and introduce barley to kids and adults alike.
“We attend a lot of educational events across the province,” Reid explained. “Our largest educational events are Agrium’s Ag-tivity in the City during the [Calgary] Stampede and Aggie Days in Calgary and Lethbridge, and City Slickers in Stony Plain.”
These events are a great way to connect with kids and parents and explain how their food gets from farm to plate, Reid said. “It’s an opportunity to dispel myths about agriculture and talk about the health benefits of barley. People are often surprised at how versatile barley is and that this local food can be used for more than beer and soup.”
But the benefits don’t end there. With the lines of communication open, consumer events are also a great way to exchange knowledge and ideas with an inquiring public. After all, people have questions—and the world of agriculture is always happy to provide the answers.
“These events bridge the gap between farmers and consumers,” said
Reid. “They provide a place where farmers and consumers can come together to have a conversation about their food.”
For more information on Alberta Barley’s upcoming events, visit albertabarley.com.
This article was originally published in GrainsWest magazine, the 2015 Food issue.