Farm Progress announces changes as show begins

Canada’s Farm Progress Show has begun for another year with the news that big changes are coming for 2020.

Evraz Place chief executive officer Tim Reid said the show will shift to a mid-week format, running Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday rather than the current Wednesday through Friday.

Check out all our #CFPS19 coverage here.

It will also start later on the first day, and there will be an increased focus on entertainment during the show.

“I think it’s really the start of a number of years of change,” Reid said.

The changes come after about 20 key stakeholders spent time reviewing the show and developing a strategic plan for the next 15 years.

Reid said the group decided to focus on only three key pillars: innovation, education and collaboration.

New entertainment options are part of the collaboration pillar.

“One of the feedback components that we heard about the show is that people want the opportunity to do business but they need the right setting. A rock concert was too loud and other opportunities were too quiet,” he said.

The show announced that Alpha Bull bullriding will be part of the show next year. Reid said it is agricultural in spirit but entertainment driven, providing opportunities for corporate hosting and the public to attend.

He said 2019 is definitely the last year for the antique vehicle display at the show and hinted that other programs could also be leaving.

“We’re growing a new component of Queen City Exhibition that is around agriculture,” he said.

A partnership with Canadian Western Agribition and a new Pile o Bones rodeo will anchor that programming.

Meanwhile, at this year’s show three of 22 innovations judged on certain standards were recognized at the official opening.

The only one to achieve a gold standard was the AutoBoom XRT from Raven Industries. The AutoBoom uses radar sensors to provide height control when spraying.

Two innovations received sterling awards: First Pass, a subscription-based route optimization software system to integrate equipment and reduce redundant passes, and Precision AI, which produces drones for fully autonomous farming.

Today at the show, a new 24-hour ag tech start-up challenge begins at 5 p.m.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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