The Calgary Stampede is underway, the always popular event attracts thousands of people over ten days.

Agriculture Minister RJ Sigurdson says its always a fun time and puts a spotlight on agriculture and our western heritage.

"Calgary Stampede has always been an amazing partner with agriculture. Of course, that's where it stems from, that's where it started. Rodeo really truly is a part of our culture and heritage here."

The work and effort of all the volunteers, and the local ag societies and fairs right up to the Calgary Stampede play an important role in helping to bring a lot of people that don't have a background or knowledge of the sector a little closer to knowing what its all about.

He says events like the Calgary Stampede are important to bridging that gap.

"The components that they've incorporated within the Exhibition and Stampede including art, culture, indigenous, the pow wows. You know, if you go to Agrium you can see UCVM veterinary services."

He points out that there are a lot of people who don't have a connection to the farm or agriculture, and the Calgary Stampede helps create an interest and provides them with insight into agriculture and our western heritage.

The Calgary Stampede wraps up July 14.