Agricultural Societies Program: History

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Early Agricultural Societies developed fairs and exhibitions for the transfer of production information to farmers. These events were seen as opportunities to gather people from neighbouring areas, learn something new, and have a good time doing it. 100 years later, Agricultural Societies in Alberta still provide over 1000 fairs and agricultural events each year.

The first agricultural society, known today as Edmonton Northlands was established in 1879. It was soon followed by Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Wetaskiwin and Olds all prior to 1900. By 1940 there were 30 agricultural societies and by 1970 there were 49. During the 1970's, agricultural societies in Alberta expanded their role in rural communities by developing community facilities. This created an influx in registered agricultural societies. By the end of the 70's there were 212 agricultural societies.

Agricultural Societies in Alberta continue to maintain their traditional roles while meeting the needs of the agricultural community. This is done by forming new partnerships with a variety of agricultural and community groups. Presently there are 295 active agricultural societies.

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For more information about the content of this document, contact Fred Young.
This information published to the web on October 10, 2013.
Last Reviewed/Revised on February 12, 2018.