Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan Farm Tour 2022
In July, I was an invited guest of the Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan farm tour 2022. The two-day event was held in and around Saskatoon. After a two-year hiatus of in-person events, I was excited to be back on the farms. I enjoyed meeting the farmers, and other food industry thought leaders, writers, educators, bloggers and health professionals. It was my 6th time to the province of Saskatchewan! Each time I visit I always learn and taste something new. Let’s explore my highlights from the Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan farm tour 2022.
It was an early start for a few education sessions along with breakfast at the Alt Hotel (view of river from my hotel room). Then we boarded the bus for a short drive to Colborn Farms.
At the farm we were hosted by Shawn Colborn and his numerous family members. The family has been farming in Saskatchewan since 1910. Into the 5th generation, they specialize in poultry (table eggs), crop productions of grains, oilseeds and pulses, plus beef cattle and raising bred replacement heifers for other commercial cattle farms.
- The morning session was dedicated to Shawn introducing us to his multi-generational family, educating the participants about the farm, their farming practices, and of course outside photo opportunities.
- We were treated to a lovely catered lunch by PickNic’s. The menu included gourmet beef burgers, side salads featuring lentils and quinoa, plus for dessert – puffed wheat squares – my first time tasting this delicious prairie stable. Most importantly, I’m now a fan!
- After lunch, we had some fun hands-on activities like crushing oil seeds. This is done to verify if the seeds are ready for harvesting. My first time for that activity! Also, we had a virtual egg barn tour. During that education piece, I learned new information about enriched farming practices.
- The afternoon session was devoted driving out to the fields of cattle, canola and grains, plus more photo opps especially in the canola fields.
After a short rest back at the hotel, we boarded the bus for the Wanuskewin Heritage Park . The purpose for this location was to understand the history of Saskatchewan, while enjoying a private dinner, a customary hoop dance and the guided tour of the interpretive centre. The dinner menu included bannock, local fish, traditional prairie side dishes and dessert.
Wanuskewin (Gathering Place), has been a gathering environment for indigenous people from across the Northern Plains for over six thousand years. As a result, the main activities were hunting bison, collecting food and congregating. The discovery and story of Wanuskewin continues today. Incidentally – the prairie sunsets are beautiful!
Good morning day two! Breakfast and more education sessions at the Alt Hotel including a virtual chicken barn tour. With a special surprise on the tables – Saskatoon berry tarts. Another prairie fav of mine! Next, we boarded the bus to the Star Egg processing facility. Star Egg grades, distributes and markets shell eggs in Western Canada. Their eggs come from 65 local farmers.
The Star Egg state-of-the-art facility grades 1.2 million eggs a day! Egg processing has certainly been modernized since I was in one over a decade ago. I was very interested to learn about the automation. Star Egg is owned and operated by the Harman Family, Saskatchewan Egg Producers and Nutrigroupe. Before boarding the bus we received samples of Todd’s egg & lentil protein crisps – another prairie fav of mine.
Lunch from Baba’s Perogies was a tribute to the many Ukrainian early settlers in Saskatchewan. We enjoyed a variety of take-away perogies, sausages and cabbage rolls on the bus ride to the dairy farm at Foth Ventures. Once at the dairy farm, we had the opportunity to watch the automated rotating dairy parlour for milking the cows. This was my first in-person observation of this process in action. Very sanitary, calming and efficient!
Now back on the bus to the hotel with the last round of Farm and Food games and trivia for thoughtful prizes (like the golf shirt I won). That evening, the bon voyage dinner was held at family owned and operated restaurant the Odd Couple. It was a four-course sharing meal of delicious Canadian-Asian favourites. It was a nice, causal time to reflect on the two days and enjoy the company of the Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan farm tour 2022 attendees and organizers.
Final Thoughts of the Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan farm tour 2022
As a business owner, now that it is possible, it’s important my time away from the office to learn, connect and taste is valuable! Thank you organizers of Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan and their hosts for inviting me and making it such a worthwhile event.
A special thanks goes to the wonderful Farm & Food Care team – Penny Eaton, Operations Manager (punctual organizer and prize giver extraordinaire); Angela Larson, Digital Media and Communications Specialist (dependable transporter and prize giver extraordinaire); Clinton Monchuk, Executive Director (ag trivia expert and baseball hotshot); and Dorothy Long, Director of Communication (time honoured Prairie expert and SK royalty).
This travel was sponsored by Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan; however, this blog was not sponsored and the opinions are completely my own based on my experience.
Photo Credits: All photos were provided by Jane except three from Farm & Food Care Saskatchewan
__________1) Wanuskewin – person holding plate; 2) Wanuskewin – sunset bison statue and 3) Star Egg carton automation
Do you need assistance on your next agriculture or food project?
Contact Jane and her team to get more information.