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, MLA St. Norbert
April 18, 2013

Aurora Farm

Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to inform you today of a wonderful family operation in St. Norbert, Aurora Farm. Not your typical farming operation, owner Louise May invites others to live with her during four months in the summer, and during this time the farm is loosely structured as a co-operative. There are about two dozen people who regularly farm and the minimum three times per week and another two dozen more who come to work the farm every Sunday afternoon. In the times of expansive projects, she also hires casual labour through the Behavioural Health Foundation.

There are countless reasons why the Aurora Farm is a special entity worth recognizing. The farmers are passionate about and supportive of healthy and happy animals, local food production, sustainable development, renewable energy and fostering creativity. Lifelong learners themselves, participating in active sustainable agriculture education, teaching workshops, giving tours, encouraging volunteerism and providing employment opportunities. While touring the acreage, visitors are able to meet a wide variety of animals, including heritage chickens, goats, alpacas, horses and cows, as well as the people who are so proud to call their farm home. On Manitoba Open Farm Day, over 300 people came to visit. Tour groups visit in the spring and fall, averaging an additional 400 visitors annually. Goods produced on the farm, such as food, herbal medicines, hygiene products and clothes, are available for purchase on-site, online and at craft sales and, of course, at the farmers' market.

Notably, Aurora Farms is the site of the woman-centred Manitoba Goddess Festival and the Summer Horse Camp for Youth, where children learn how to care for horses, horseback riding and safety skills. As Ms. May says, life moves fast every day on the farm.

Mr. Speaker, it's because of the passionate and inspirational people like Louise May and everyone at Aurora Farm that I can confidently say that St. Norbert is an incredible place to work, play and live. These Manitobans are proud of our collective prairie heritage and they showcase it every chance they get. Now that spring is upon us, I urge everyone here today present to experience Aurora Farm, the pride of St. Norbert.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.