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Monday, April 29, 2013

What's that smell

On April Fool's Day the Calgary Stampede played a little trick via their Facebook page.

In our ongoing efforts to create a stronger bond between urban and rural Alberta, the Calgary Stampede will begin our new Rural Scent Program (RSP) this week.
Over the past year, the Stampede has been working with university researchers to perfect a series of 12 authentic fragrances that capture the essence of southern Alberta agriculture operations.
On the first Thursday of each month the Stampede will fog one of the scents from high atop the Grandstand. And Calgarians will be transported to the farm.

Depending on wind and weather conditions we expect residents from Varsity to Lynnwood and Lakeview to Temple to enjoy the tempting scents. On a good day the effect of RSP may reach the airport – creating an authentic western welcome for tourists and those southern Albertans returning home.

At first I thought this sounded pretty cool. Yes, not all smells from the farm are ideal. Manure smells. There is no getting around it. But fresh cut hay, a newly plowed field, silage (a wet grain/hay mixture we feed to cattle), a newly opened bag of mineral are amazing smells. Yes, I can show you through pictures and video what the farm looks and sounds like but it is hard to capture the smell through this blog.

I began to read through the list of smells the Calgary Stampede would be using in their Rural Scent Program. They included damp straw, ripe farm hand, barn manure and turkey farm among others. Wait a minute if I live on a farm and am not entirely found of these smells why would I want to force people living in urban areas to deal with them. Oh wait - April Fools.

Maybe having this scent technology wouldn't be so bad. That way I could share all the wonderful farm smells with you to compensate with those sometimes not too pleasant scents that like to drift in the wind.

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