The historic OH Ranch opened its gates on Saturday, August 18, to give the public a rare glimpse of its operations as part of the Alberta Open Farm Days program.

oh ranch tour aug18 2018 001Smoky clouds shroud the backdrop of the OH Ranch, on 2018's annual tour.

The historic site, which was founded in 1883, is now owned by the Calgary Stampede Foundation, after it's Southern half was donated by the then owner, Bill Siebens in 2012.

The ranch is now managed by Ken and Deb Pigeon, who tend to the 300 head of mother cows with a mixture of red and black Angus.

Deb says, this event is all about public education.

"Education is the main component of understanding what we do in agriculture, and food production nowadays, and just that we are a verified beef operation, producing great Alberta beef."

Both Deb and Ken guided a tour around the ranch, explaining the new practices in beef production.

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oh ranch tour aug18 2018 006The ranches stall's are inscribed by cowboys that worked the land from as far back as the late 1800's.

Guests were astounded by the new technical advances in agricultural food production, such as I.D chips placed in cattle, to track their location and status in production.

Deb says that in the three years the ranch has participated in the Open Farm Days, they've received a variety of guests.

"We get a mixture, despite us competing for many different events this weekend, we get some people all the way from Calgary, but plenty locals show up, as it is a private ranch, and because this is the only day of the year it's open, anyone can come. Recently we have been part of many educational programs for schools in Calgary, we have 20 programs in the Spring and Fall, and for a lot of kids, it's their first time on a ranch, seeing cattle first hand, and getting an understanding of food production."

Guests got a glimpse of the ranches stalls, a walk around the cookhouse and the maternity area used during calving season.

Deb says they are glad for the opportunity to show the ranch to its guests, and look forward to next years showing.

"It's just a wonderful way of showcasing agriculture, and the Calgary Stampede is very much a part of education, whether it's in the city or out at the ranches, so it was just a great fit to be part of Open Farm Days."

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