LANGHAM, Sask. — Ag in Motion was a hot ticket this year in more ways than one.
For the fourth straight year, attendance and exhibitor totals for the outdoor farm show surpassed previous numbers.
More than 30,000 visitors attended July 17-19, an 18 percent increase from last year.
July 18 was the biggest ever single day for the show with 11,425 people going through the gates, which was more people than the entire first Ag in Motion four years ago.
The number of exhibitors also swelled to 459, which marked a 10 percent increase from 2017.
“I’m quite happy with the way the show has evolved over the past four years,” said Rob O’Connor, show director.
“I think as more people are understanding what Ag in Motion is and what it offers, it just seems to be getting more people to come and take part in what we have here to offer.”
AIM’s Field of STARS event was one of the shows hottest tickets, which quickly sold out its 1,200 seats for the outdoor charity gala and raised $530,000 for the air ambulance service.
While no provincial heat records were broken during the three days, temperatures during AIM were the warmest yet for the show.
At almost 35 C, the first day of the show was the hottest.
Large farm equipment proved handy as visitors found some relief from the piercing sun sheltered beside combines, tractors and sprayers or the many tents throughout the show.
The beer garden was also a popular venue.
“It’s a cooker out here,” said Adam Laliberte, a grain farmer from Fairview, Alta.
This was his first time at the show.
“What impressed me is the sheer mass and the ability for these implement manufacturers to show their wares in an open field setting and allow for a really good look at things. They’re also equipped with the right amount of people to help you.”
Len Palmer took a day off from haying to drive to the show, his first year.
“There’s lots of stuff to see, lots of information. It’s easier to come here and talk about equipment verses going to the stores. It’s a good deal. It’s nice and wide open and easy to get around,” said the Bladworth, Sask., area mixed farmer.
He said he’ll come back next year for at least two days because one day was not enough for him to see everything.
However, he said improving the parking and transportation could have helped him see more.
Some exhibitors agreed, saying quicker access in and out of the grounds would ease some issues.
“It took my wife over an hour to get in through the gate to bring in supplies. The grid road was all blocked. So, they need to get people in faster and I think we need to do a two entrance so we can have the crowds coming in from two sides,” said John Denbrok of Value Tire.
Improving the transportation is one of the main areas that O’Connor said show organizations are focused on for next year, including more electrical infrastructure.