By Lucie Roy
Sturgeon County – The annual Sturgeon County Ag Tour pulled in some solid numbers this year, loading three buses of County residents, farmers and provincial government representatives for a tour of value added agriculture in the county.
Quentin Bochar, Manager Agriculture Services, said he was pleased with the overwhelming response to the tour. The three buses for the Aug. 2 tour included approximately 100 people from Sturgeon County, Morinville, Legal, Vimy, St. Albert and Edmonton.
Below are some pictorial highlights of the day’s activities:
Sheila Wooten and Jim Bererton enjoy a sampling of baked goods at the Mountain Meadows Food Processing in Legal. The company manufactures NoNuts Peabutter, a peanut butter alternative that is free of peanuts and tree nuts, soy, gluten, salt, cholesterol and trans fat. Mountain Meadows Food Processing owners Caryll and Norm Carruthers conducted the tour of the plant which included watching the jars being filled and sealed. The company produces 4,000 jars per batch for a total of 150,000 jars per year.
Tony Gulka of Legal and Vern Lewis of Bon Accord look over a 1928 John Deere at the McGuire Museum, located just outside Bon Accord.
Museum owner Andy McGuire started the tractor and had it running for the crowd of enthusiasts. The museum has more than 100 tractors, including a John Deere that did service at the Garrison during WWII, a 1935 truck with suicide doors that was only made for three months with few in existence, a 1929 1020 McCormack that is a tribute to all young men who went to war and never came home, and a 1918 Fordson tractor.
McGuire said the museum is in its infancy right now and that he is funding it himself.
Mark Baah of the University of Alberta spoke of some of the equipment used to collect data for the climate change and carbon storage project located at the U of A St. Albert Research Station between St. Albert and Morinville. The equipment included a pipe and plexiglas box used to measure gases released by plants and microorganisms in the soil. Another device measures carbon dioxide in real time from the soil. Three gases are collected and analysed: carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane.
O’Neil Chevalier enjoys a fresh strawberry at the E.L.K.S. Berry & Vegetable Farm. The farm was the last of five stops on the Sturgeon County Agriculture Service Board Tour.
The day’s events wrapped up with a dinner and award ceremony at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre. The Ag Services Board are in their 67th year and the annual event was their 30th. A total of 120 attended the tour and dinner this year, the largest group of attendees they have had in years.
Nadia and the Right Reverend Meroslaw Kryschuk are flanked by Sturgeon County Division 2 Councillor Tom Flynn and Division 5 Councillor Joe Milligan at the Sturgeon County Agricultural Service Board dinner and awards presentation held Aug. 2 at the Morinville Community cultural Centre.
Three families who celebrated more than a century of farming in the community were recognized: the Panciw/Kryschuk, Nobert and Perreault families. The Nobert award was accepted by Leonard Nobert, his sister Claire Nobert-Boddez and other family members. No members of the Perreault family were able to attend to accept their award.
The winner of the Farmstead Beautification Award was Peter and Laurel Peeters, who were unable to attend. The award was accepted on their behalf by their daughter. Runner ups were Terry and Mira Fenton.
The winners of the Acreage Beautification Award was Tim and Jo-Ann Berry with runner ups Elzear and Eileen Derrien and Terri and Tony Van Brabant.
Also recognized was Gib Soetaert, a long time board member who has been a prominent figure in the Sturgeon County area, serving on many boards and