New funds will boost cattle show

The top 10 females came from the following ranches:

Canadian Western Agribition is over and the counting has begun.

Organizers are tallying final attendance and sales figures after what president Reed Andrew called the best show ever.

Although this was his first year as president, he and his family have exhibited cattle since the first show in 1971.

“I’m extremely proud of the show we had this week,” he said Nov. 16.

“This has been the best Agribition we’ve had throughout the 43 years.”

Attendance is anticipated to be more than 120,000.

The purebred beef sales highlight was a $31,000 Limousin bull, RPY Payne’s Derby, consigned by Payne Livestock of Lloydminster, Sask., and sold to Highland Stock Farms at Olds, Alta.

The show was held about two weeks earlier than usual this year because Regina is hosting the Grey Cup Nov. 24.

Opening day was Nov. 11, and the show offered free admission, leading to packed trade show areas and many first-time visitors, said chief executive officer Marty Seymour.

He said it was worth it to offer free admission because those who didn’t know what Agribition was about will be back.

“I think the impact is an investment in the future,” he said.

“We looked at this early on in the year and felt that the opportunity was here to give back to the community.”

The show is said to generate $37 million in economic activity: $20 million of that goes to the City of Regina.

During the show, federal agriculture minister Gerry Ritz announced a five-year $664,000 funding commitment to Agribition through its AgriMarketing program, and provincial agriculture minister Lyle Stewart announced a four-year $200,000 investment, in addition to the money the province already provides through marketing and agricultural awareness programs.

Seymour said provincial money would likely be earmarked for the Family Ag Pavilion and ag awareness efforts. Federal money will be used to bring more international buyers and sellers to the show and enhance the International Business Centre.

About 700 guests from 60 countries attended this year.

Vladimir Zamykula, deputy governor of the Poltava oblast in Ukraine, made his first visit to the show with a delegation from his state.

They were looking for dairy genetics in particular but also technology in cattle and grain production.

“Today’s world is a global world and one of the biggest challenges is to satisfy the food security needs of the world,” he said through a translator.

“Ukrainian and Canadian veterinary protocols are quite well aligned. It’s important to access leading genetics and technology.”

Seymour said interest from South America was strong this year.

“Something this year that struck me as a great opportunity is the amount of interest on our webcasting service,” he said.

“Beef shows and sales are all broadcast around the world. We had 17 countries and 26 states watching at any given time.”

Still, attendance at the show is critical to its success. Construction of the new football stadium on the Evraz Place grounds will change the traffic flow.

This year Agribition piloted a Park-and-Ride program from a city mall, and Seymour said that service will be back next year. He said the show also hopes to expand its trade show space next year. All the space allocated this year was sold out.

The new Stock Exchange space, The Yards, was a success, he added.

About 6,000 schoolchildren attended the show through the agri-ed program, and the First Nations Pavilion was also a big attraction.

Andrew said the show will continue to grow.

“My dad was part of the first Agribition, where there was a handful of cattle producers and a small trade show,” he said. “Today, we’re the best beef show on the continent and one of the largest trade shows in North America.”

His father died last year, and the first Barry Andrew Family Scholarship, from a $25,000 bequest to the show, was awarded to Roberta Anderson of Bethune, Sask.

About the author



Stories from our other publications