Farm show organizers pleased with exhibits, business generated

International business conducted at Canada’s Farm Progress Show was at least $360 million, show organizers said as the 40th anniversary of the Regina event wrapped up last week.

Add in domestic and future sales and the value of the show is significant, they said.

Visitors from 65 countries were registered, including trade delegations from Australia, the United States, Latvia and Ukraine. Vietnam, Italy, France and Austria were also represented.

On a pre-show farm tour, people from those countries, South Africa, Mongolia, China and others got a look at manufacturing at SeedMaster, a dairy operation at Lovholm Holsteins and a grain farm at Duncan Farms before connecting with suppliers at the show.

Show chair Rene Carpentier said the International Business Centre has expanded in size and reputation over the past several years.

About 800 people were registered with the centre.

Show attendance was down from last year to 38,000, probably because of cool, wet, windy weather.

The antique tractor pull and threshing demonstration were both affected by the conditions.

Show manager Shirley Janeczko said attendance is a measure of success but not the only one.

“We pay close attention to the business generated at the show because our main purpose is to bring qualified buyers and sellers together,” she said.

Among farm shows, CFPS is renowned for the highest percentage of qualified buyers coming through the gates, she said.

In recognition of the 40th anniversary, the show acknowledged 34 exhibitors who have attended each year.

Organizers also introduced theme days for women and young farmers as well as heritage.

Two products received gold standard awards in the Innovation Competition: Setter Manufacturing of Russell, Man., for the Drylobag, a portable grain drying and storage system that dries grain in bags; and TankFull from Duck Mountain Environmental at Kamsack, Sask., for a septic tank level monitoring system that uses ultrasonic technology to send a signal to dispatch a truck.

Four sterling standard awards were presented: Hypro-SHURFLO/Pentair received three of them for Duo React, a two-nozzle system to control droplet size and reduce spray drift; 3D Spray Nozzle, which optimizes droplet spectrum; and 9310 ForceField Pumps, which use wet seal technology to protect mechanical seals.

The fourth went to Agrimatics for Libra TMR, a tablet and smartphone ration-weighing and data management system.

The winner of a new event this year, Farmyard Inventions, was determined by visitor votes.

Ryan Dennis from Holdfast, Sask., took the honours for his Better Buncher, a rotary flax straw buncher that puts straw into piles for burning.

Farm Progress is home to the annual Outstanding Young Farmers provincial competition, and three judges selected Derek and Tannis Axten of Minton, Sask., to represent the province at the national event in late November in Penticton, B.C.

Several events were held in the new Mosaic Stadium.

Next year the show will take on a different look as it gains the added space of the 150,000 sq. foot International Trade Centre under construction at the Evraz Place exhibition grounds.

The show currently occupies 1.9 million sq. feet.

“We have a waiting list of exhibitors each year so we’re happy to accommodate them with the new building and the additional outdoor space,” Janeczko said.

Two older barns will be demolished in the next few years.

The 2018 show is slated for June 20-22.

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