'Activist just trying to get attention, says spokesperson.'
A local food activist is crying foul after organizers of an agricultural event pulled the plug on an exhibit aimed at teaching kids about urban farming.
The program, billed Starts for Smarts, would offer kids a chance to learn about agriculture by planting their own seed to take home and grow, says Paul Hughes, chair of the Calgary Food Policy Council.
He says organizers of the Calgary Stampede Aggie Days backed out of a verbal agreement to provide a space for the exhibit because he is too political. “Now our children are going to go through there and be exposed to only one side of the agriculture system,” he says.
A spokesperson for the Calgary Stampede didn’t deny there was an agreement, but says the exhibit was ultimately rejected because it is not officially tied to any school program. “Upon further examination of the situation and discussion, it was decided he did not have a fit this year,” says Doug Fraser.
Fraser says Aggie Days primarily promotes rural agriculture and provides children with “a basic understanding” of where their food comes from. “At this point this gentleman is trying to promote his personal venture so that he gets the attention of city hall,” he says.