The Stettler Rotary Club hosted its 57th annual farmers’ appreciation night at the Stettler Community Hall on Monday evening.
Rotarian Peter Boys said the long-running event continues to honour the valuable contributions that farmers make to the Stettler community.
Members of the farming community were the guests of the Rotarians and farm-related business sponsors.
The event is just one of many community-support projects Rotarians carry out each year.
Stettler Coun. Steve Wildeboer and county reeve Wayne Nixon brought greetings from the town and county, respectively.
Wildeboer said farmers work hard and put in long hours. He urged the farm guests to “enjoy the meal of food that came from your hands.”
“Rural people have an insurmountable spirit,” Nixon said.
“For the past 100-plus years farmers and ranchers have battled and worked with nature — through flood and drought, through hail and grasshoppers, through wind and snow — and have emerged victorious.”
Guest speaker for the evening was Simone Demers Collins, the market, development and promotion co-ordinator with the Alberta Canola Producers Commission.
She delivered interesting facts on canola production in Alberta.
More than 15,000 Alberta farmers grow canola on 5.5 million acres.
Alberta canola farmers produce the highest yield in Canada with an average of 36.3 bushels per acre.
Canada produces 40 per cent of the world canola production, with Japan being the biggest customer.
Demers Collins said canola ranks third in vegetable oil usage.
She said being low in saturated fats makes it the healthier choice.
“The Calgary Stampede was the first major fair to go trans-fat free.”
Since 2006, vendors cooking food on Stampede grounds must use canola oil, which has a variety of uses. Human food, livestock feed, biofuel, industrial, cosmetics and hand-cleaner products are among those.