Canada is one of the world’s top grain exporters, and wheat and barley will make up a crucial component of the Canadian government’s plan to boost agri-food exports to $75 billion from $55 billion annually by 2025.
It was exuberantly clear the Alberta Beer Awards ceremony was a hit with its more than 500 attendees. A diverse selection of brewers, beer industry professionals and aficionados gathered at Calgary’s Palace Theatre on March 14 for a raucous wrap to the second annual Alberta Small Brewers Association (ASBA) Alberta Craft Brewing Convention.
If you’ve sipped Alberta craft beer lately, you may have tasted barley grown, malted and possibly even brewed by the Hamill family who operate Red Shed Malting. In charge of the malting process, Joe Hamill also operates Hamill Brothers Brewing with his brother Matt. Joe typically starts his day in the business’s namesake red malt house on his family’s farm near Innisfail. In the germination room, where barley kernels are sprouted prior to roasting, it smells like fresh grass and cucumber. As he checks on the ongoing malting processes, he may begin work on a batch of specialty malt for a brewer client. “That’s when you get those nice biscuit, coffee smells coming out of the roaster,” Joe explained.
Following her first book, Farmwives in Profile: 17 Women: 17 Candid Questions About Their Lives, Lloydminster-area photographer and author Billi J. Miller has penned Farmwives 2: An Inspiring Look at the Lives of the New Canadian Farmwives. Part one examined the lives of 17 Alberta farm women aged 55 to 90 in traditional homemaking roles. […]
Outside Canmore’s JK Bakery Cafe on a bright and pine-scented day, the snow-capped slate-blue Rockies circle the alpine town. Inside, the oven-warm waft of fresh-baked bread and the comforting buzz of café conversation completes the undeniable draw of this artisanal bakery. The soup-and-sandwich combo prepared with fresh bread is a bestseller, and customers sitting for coffee and pastry walk away with loaves of German rye, Danish sourdough rye or ciabatta buns, all appealingly basketed behind the main counter.
Darrell Bricker sees opportunity in farming and the food industry. The CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs says Canadians are living longer, eating healthier and welcoming immigrants like never before, bringing new residents hungry for a taste from their former homelands. The changing nature of the country’s consumer demographics presents open doors for farmers and agri-food entrepreneurs.
On a sunny morning in the Origin Malting & Brewing taproom in Strathmore, co-owners Meleah Geeraert and her husband, Kyle, took an uncharacteristic break from what has been a crazy work schedule. Meleah is a fifth-generation member of the Hilton family whose farmstead is located just down the road. While she handles digital marketing, office management and taproom operations, he handles product development. They’ve overseen off-the-hook growth in sales following the outfitting and August 2017 launch of their business, which they carried out in record time. Invoking their “farm-kid work ethic,” they manage the endless tasks commensurate with this undertaking while raising their two-year-old son, Easton, and a second child is on the way. They’re overworked but clearly thrilled with their success thus far.
Bitcoin took the world by storm about two years ago and has since risen, fallen, crashed, burned, re-risen and may be soaring or bottoming out on the stock market as you read this. When the world’s biggest bubble comes along, it’s hard not to take notice, and Bitcoin news certainly is enthralling. However, what has captured the attention of many is the technology behind Bitcoin: blockchain.
For farmers, sustainability is the foundation of the future. As Albertans become more interested in where our food comes from and how it is grown, we naturally want to know how farms measure up in the use of sustainable growing practices. It may come as a surprise that in many ways the province’s farmers are leaders in developing and adopting farm practices that not only protect environmental values, but support economic viability and social responsibility.