Agribition remains in the black

Canadian Western Agribition ended its most recent fiscal year with an operating profit of $190,671.

That’s down slightly from the previous year’s $270,000.

However, outgoing president Bruce Holmquist said he’s fine with that, considering Agribition is a not-for-profit organization.

“We exceeded budget and we probably exceeded expectations when you look at the harvest we had last fall and how dry it was in some areas,” he said before Agribition’s recent annual general meeting.

The 2018 show saw attendance rise to more than 127,000 and international sales set a record of $881,000.

“Those are the sales that are reported back through our international buyers’ survey,” Holmquist said.

“We were probably low on that because we’re not sure everybody reports actual value.”

Chief executive officer Chris Lane said it is difficult to get a true number because sales are made after, but as a result of, the show.

People from more than 75 countries attended last year.

Lane said livestock entries were down from last year but above average based on past records.

“I think any time we have success at Agribition, it depends on the diversity of things that we do,” he said.

The show relies on three pillars: commerce, education and entertainment.

The 2019 event will feature the return of the popular goat yoga from two years ago and likely for longer than just two days.

It will also include a new rodeo.

The Maple Leaf Finals will feature the top 10 competitors on the new Canadian circuit, which is a partnership of the Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association, the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association. It will include most of the CPRA rodeos outside of the Finning Pro Tour, according to the CPRA, and will highlight non-tour rodeos.

The Maple Leaf circuit champions and season leaders in each event will qualify for the RAM National Circuit Finals in Kissimmee, Florida.

The 49th Agribition is scheduled for Nov. 25-30.

Meanwhile, Chris Lees from Arcola, Sask., was elected president of the board for the coming year. The new vice-president is Kim Hextall of Grenfell, Sask., and members at large are Levi Jackson of Sedley, Sask., Curtis Kuchinka of Regina and Michael Latimer from Olds, Alta.

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