Canada’s Farm Show welcomed three veteran show members for the pioneer’s panel held June 16.
All three had been members or attendees of the show for years. They shared memories of past shows and discussed where they see the show and agriculture going in the future.
“What has changed has been one of the great things about the farm show, has been the innovations that have come through,” said Dave Weber, owner of Weber Farms, a former farm show chair, and someone who had been involved with the show for 27 of its 43 years.
“Whether it’s the new invention centre or the people coming to do business here and buying machines, they were able to show their machines to the world and make deals right then and there.”
Before the show became a virtual event because of COVID-19 restrictions, it attracted 30,000-40,000 people. It was formerly named Canada’s Farm Progress Show.
“It was a wonderful time,” Weber said. “I met so many great people. It’s good you’re doing this now, but it was, and it will be again, a wonderful show.”
The panelists reflected on the past of not just the show, but of farming in general.
“The message I try to preach a bit is a lot of our younger farmers or city friends aren’t aware of the great advancements that have been done on the Prairies,” said Norbert Beaujot, president of SeedMaster and long-time farm show participant.
“A lot of people don’t understand that things have vastly improved environmentally on the farm.”
Isaak Cruson, president of Dutch Industries, said he sees a lot of misconceptions about farming and agriculture.
“My daughter is a teacher so she brings chicks to school, and the kids don’t get a chance to see that anymore. And so actually the whole school benefits from that in the end because they all come to her class to see the chicks. But it makes you realize how few people are really in contact with agriculture.”
Cruson said as a result of the misperception around agriculture and the lack of knowledge many people possess about farming, the industry has less support than it once did.
“A lot of people have ideas that aren’t based on science,” he said.
Going forward into the future of farming, Weber said it’s important to keep learning to grow the industry.
“We came from somewhere. We just have to keep learning and getting better at what we do.”