From the Province of Alberta
New attractions brewing at Open Farm Days
Albertans are encouraged to mark Aug. 17-18 on their calendars to experience this year’s Alberta Open Farm Days lineup, including an exclusive craft beer.
This year Open Farm Days reached out to the breweries registered, and proposed they collaborate together to make a special OFD beer. The breweries that have decided to participate include Troubled Monk Brewing, Apex Predator Brewing, Lakeland Brewing Company, Blindman Brewing, Township 24 Brewery, and Red Bison Brewery.
People can visit more than 150 host farms across the province for open houses, tours and an opportunity to buy locally grown and homemade products.
Culinary farm-to-fork events that highlight local ingredients have been popular at Open Farm Days. This year, six Alberta breweries have developed a craft beer featuring four Alberta-grown products. The Open Farm Days cream ale showcases Alberta-grown wheat, oats, corn and haskap berries. The ale is available now at participating breweries and select restaurants.
Overall, there are 29 culinary events and 11 tours to enjoy this year. Other fan-favourite activities such as corn mazes, hayrides and mini golf are also making their return.
Admission to farms is free, but there may be costs for some activities and many are cash only. It is also recommended to bring a cooler to store produce and other products. Tickets for culinary events are available for purchase. Space is limited, so people are encouraged to buy tickets ahead of time.
Alberta Open Farms Days is a collaborative project presented by the Government of Alberta, the Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies, Travel Alberta and participating farms and ranches. Visit albertafarmdays.ca for more information, including details about tickets and where to buy the Open Farm Days cream ale.
EU Farmers Rise Against the Climate Cult
From the Brownstone Institute
The EU Commission is playing a dangerous game. On the one hand, they are attempting to placate farmers by making expedient short-term concessions to them. On the other hand, they are holding fast to their commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 90% by 2040
Many major arteries connecting Europe have been obstructed or brought to a standstill in recent days by a wave of protests by farmers against what they claim are overly burdensome environmental targets and unsustainable levels of bureaucracy associated with EU and national farming regulations.
The warning shots of this showdown between policymakers and farmers had already been fired on 1st October 2019, when more than 2,000 Dutch tractors caused traffic mayhem in the Netherlands in response to an announcement that livestock farms would have to be bought out and shut down to reduce nitrogen emissions. Early last year, Polish farmers blocked the border with the Ukraine demanding the re-imposition of tariffs on Ukrainian grain.
But it was not until early this year that an EU-wide protest was ignited. German and French protests and tractor blockades made international news, and the blockades were soon replicated in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Greece, Netherlands, and Ireland. Major highways and ports were blocked and manure was poured over government buildings, as farmers across Europe expressed their frustration at rising farming costs, falling prices for their produce, and crippling environmental regulations that made their products uncompetitive in the global market.
It seems the farmers have European elites rattled, which is hardly surprising, given that EU elections are just around the corner. While the European Commission announced Tuesday it was still committed to achieving a 90% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 2040, it conspicuously omitted any mention of how the farming sector would contribute to that ambitious target. Even more tellingly, the Commission has backed down or fudged on key climate commitments, at least temporarily.
According to politico, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday that “she was withdrawing an EU effort to rein in pesticide use.” The climbdown on this and other Commission proposals relating to farming was rather embarrassing for the Commission but politically inevitable, given that the protests were spreading rapidly and farmers were showing no signs of going home until their demands were met. As reported by politico,
A note on the possibility of agriculture cutting down on methane and nitrous oxides by 30 percent, which was in earlier drafts of the Commission’s 2040 proposal, was gone by the time it came out on Tuesday. Similarly excised were missives on behavioral change — possibly including eating less meat or dairy — and cutting subsidies for fossil fuels, many of which go to farmers to assist with their diesel costs. Inserted was softer language about the necessity of farming to Europe’s food security and the positive contributions it can make.
The EU Commission is playing a dangerous game. On the one hand, they are attempting to placate farmers by making expedient short-term concessions to them. On the other hand, they are holding fast to their commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Europe by 90% by 2040, while fudging on the fact that a 90% emission cut in 16 years would have drastic implications for farming.
It is clearly politically expedient, especially in an election year, to put out this fire of farming discontent as soon as possible, and buy some peace ahead of June’s European elections. But there is no avoiding the fact that the Commission’s long-term environmental goals, as currently conceived, almost certainly require sacrifices that farmers are simply not willing to accept.
Independently from the merits of EU climate policy, two things are clear: first, EU leaders and environmental activists appear to have vastly underestimated the backlash their policies would spark in the farming community; and second, the apparent success of this dramatic EU-wide protest sets a spectacular precedent that will not go unnoticed among farmers and transport companies, whose operating costs are heavily impacted by environmental regulations like carbon taxes.
The Commission’s embarrassing concessions are proof that high-visibility, disruptive tactics can be effective. As such, we can expect more of this after June’s EU elections if the Commission doubles down again on its climate policy goals.
Republished from the author’s Substack
EU backtracks on key green agenda measures following widespread farmers’ protests
Ursula von der Leyen
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced that the EU will remove the provision to reduce emissions by 90% by 2040, as well as its plan to cut pesticide use by 50% by 2030 from its ‘Net Zero’ plan, among other concessions.
The European Union (EU) has backtracked on some of its green agenda measures in response to the large-scale farmers’ protests.
On Tuesday, February 6, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced that the EU will remove the provision to reduce emissions by 90% by 2040, as well as its plan to cut pesticide use by 50% by 2030 from its “Net Zero” plan. To quell the rage of farmers, the EU also agreed to water down its plans for so-called animal welfare and the restrictions on land use for agricultural purposes.
“Our farmers deserve to be listened to,” von der Leyen told the European Parliament on Tuesday, the Telegraph reports.
“I know that they are worried about the future of agriculture and their future as farmers.”
“But they also know that agriculture needs to move to a more sustainable model of production so that their farms remain profitable in the years to come,” the Commission President added.
She admitted the plan to cut pesticide use had become a “symbol of polarization.”
Last week, the continent-wide protests reached the heart of Europe as farmers arrived with their tractors in front of the European Parliament in Brussels.
The protest in Brussels happened in the context of a continent-wide uprising, including in France, where 10,000 farmers erected more than 100 blockades on important roads across the country. Farmer protests also took place in various other countries, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, Scotland and Ireland.
It remains unknown if and for how long the EU will uphold the concessions made to the farmers. The rollback of the green agenda measures might be an attempt to prevent a disaster at the ballot box, as the elections of the European Parliament in June 2024 are fast approaching, and right-wing populist parties have been gaining significantly in the polls.
German MEP and president of the neo-conservative European People’s Party (EPP) Manfred Weber expressed his concern that farmers might vote for right-wing, anti-globalist parties in the upcoming election.
“We always realized that farmers are citizens and don’t want Left-wing ideologies that dictate everything to them,” Weber said in the European Parliament on February 6.
Dutch political commentator Eva Vlaadingerbroek wrote on X, formerly Twitter to say:
This is good news because it shows that protesting WORKS and putting pressure on our overlords WORKS. However, just dropping the requirements for 2040 is not enough. The entire agenda has to go. The Green Deal and the NetZero scam has to go. We’ve won a battle, not the war.
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