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Open Farm Day Teaches Manitobans All About Agriculture

September 20, 2010 7:30 AM | Photos

Benner Holsteins Ltd. dairy farm east of Steinbach was one of many locations throughout Manitoba that held an open house as part of the province's first Open Farm Day on Sunday, September 19, 2010. (CHRISD.CA)

City slickers received a glimpse into hardworking farm life Sunday during Manitoba’s first annual Open Farm Day.

Thirty seven farms across the province swung open their barn doors to curious eyes to show the inner workings of their operations.

People of all ages toured dairy farms, orchards, bison farms and more to see what really goes on to put the food many take for granted on their plate.

Horseback River Trails in Otterburne was an intimate farm experience for visitors, giving people the opportunity to feed horses, hens and pet bunnies. Owners Dan and Lisa McLeod guided riders on the “Trails of Narnia” on their property and taught those interested on how to care for the animals, including proper brushing techniques.

Nearby at Steinbach Corn Maze and Adventures, a taste of city life greeted those who entered the barn, as arcade games kept the kids busy when they were finished touring the challenging corn maze outside.

At Benner Holsteins Ltd. east of Steinbach, the dairy farm that has been in business since 1954 showed visitors its milking procedures and other facilities that take up a large part of the property’s 1,400 acres. Benner Holsteins milks 200 cows in the robot (automated) barn and 60 by hand in the tie stall. A barn fire in 1987 set the operation back, but the family rebuilt bigger and better, expanding its facilities again in 2001.

Just across the road, Penner Pumpkins drew mostly children to its family-friendly compound, which boasts an antique tractor display, petting farm, scarecrow forest, corn maze and zip line.

Manitoba Agriculture organized Open Farm Day and is already planning to hold it again next year.

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