the Calgary Stampede

the Calgary Stampede

July 11, 2011 10:00 ET

Urbanites Re-Connected With Animals, Agriculture at Calgary Stampede

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - July 11, 2011) -

ATTN: News editors

"We've got a population today that's totally removed from animals," says renowned animal care expert Temple Grandin. "People just don't understand the most basic things, like all momma cows are raised on a ranch."

That's why the Calgary Stampede has worked for almost 100 years to educate urbanites about animal care and husbandry. One volunteer educating those urbanites is Donna Smith. Smith is a seed stock producer based near Olds, Alberta, and is a longtime member of the Stampede's Beef Cattle committee.

Sixteen months ago, Smith suggested Calgary Stampede visitors needed to see beef's big picture. As a result, the 2011 Stampede's agricultural landscape now features something called "the Cattle Trail."

"I felt the easiest way for the general public to understand the process would be to take it from pasture to plate," says Smith, "and the Stampede totally endorsed it, ran with it, and broadened it far beyond my expectations."

In collaboration with industry partners, the showcase includes a live-animal display, recounting each chapter of the beef story.

A quick trip through the Agriculture Building or back in the barns (all publicly accessible) shows children delighting in the discovery of live animals and families learning about agriculture, food, and animal care.

"I think in animal ag we need to be showing what we do," says Grandin.

Part of the Calgary Stampede's mission to preserve Western Heritage is to do exactly that, show what animal agriculture is all about and re-acquaint city folks with the animals we depend upon. Throughout the ten days of Stampede 7,500 animals are on-park involved in hundreds of exhibition, education and competition events, creating one of the most unique agricultural showcases in the world.

The combination of continuous improvement, outside auditing and consultation has made the Calgary Stampede a leader in agriculture programming, western events and animal safety, a tradition that will continue going into our 100th year. Conversation is welcomed at the Calgary Stampede blog. Learn more from our animal welfare videos on YouTube.

About Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. The Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through its world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.

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