The Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies has designated September 21st to recognize and promote the significant contributions that agricultural societies make.
Agricultural societies are volunteer driven, not-for-profit organizations that help to enhance quality of life through the development of programs and services, and providing facilities that meet community needs.
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development Nate Horner says thousands of Albertans volunteer countless hours with their local society to help build thriving communities across the province.
"Their programs, events, facilities and community activities build connection and community pride."
Alberta's agricultural societies are made up of 52 thousand volunteers that take part in helping to build and enhance their communities.
Those volunteers put in over 590 thousand hours annually or $8.9 Million in volunteer labour for primary ag societies.
Today that tradition continues with 291 ag societies across Alberta that own or operate more than 700 facilities, including ice arenas, riding arenas, community halls, curling rinks, barns, and campgrounds.
Agricultural society facilities play host to a variety of events throughout the year including 4H shows.
Horner says he's proud to recognize the dedicated volunteers that make agricultural societies work.
"Your determination keeps Albertans connected to agriculture and promotes the true values of rural Alberta: hard work, determination and community."
The history of agricultural societies dates back to 1879 and 1880 in Alberta when the first agricultural societies were formed.
The Calgary Stampede, formed in 1884, is one of the oldest still operating in Alberta.
There are now 20 ag societies in the province that are more than 100 years old, and 34 societies that celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2022.
People are encouraged to post on social media with #abagsocietiesday just what your Ag Society means to you and why others should join.
For more information about your local ag society and how to join visit www.albertaagsocieties.ca