Where does a farmer take his wife for a date? – To the farm show! The crops are in (or under the snow) – it’s time to have some fun.
The Red Deer Agri-Trade Exposition was held November 11-14, parallel with Edmonton’s Farmfair International. Next weekend is the Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Sask. – my niece, Jennifer Zingre, will be there from Fort St. John, B.C. She’s judging cattle at the national 4-H judging competition.
I was impressed by the Mission Statement of the Agribition in Regina:
To create and maintain an effective, hospitable and entertaining atmosphere to market Canadian agriculture products and expertise to the world. (from their website: www.agribition.com)
I’ve always thought of these shows as a place where farmers and ranchers spend a day or more to drool at the newest combines and hang out with other farmers and ranchers. Okay – and to learn the newest in agriculture technologies.
Show organizers also see it as a prime opportunity to market Canadian agriculture to the urban population. Especially Agribition and Farmfair International, with their emphasis on livestock and ending with a rodeo, attract many urban families.
Robert and I drove the three hours to Red Deer and met some of my family from the Fort St. John, B.C. area. My sister, Maya, and husband, Franz, Wenger took a holiday and spent two days at the show. My brother, Fred Lehman, used the opportunity to take his “old” dairy bull to market and pick up a new one on the way home.
Maya was interested in seeing what new innovations farmers have come up with. One booth displayed a better swing auger for air seeders that actually gets under a super-B truck comfortably.
There was the newest shiny iron – green combines, red tractors, yellow grain carts… the banks were right there too to provide financing.
A salesman entertained a large crowd as he deftly shredded cabbage on his orange (brown?) V-slicer. I swear I watched the same guy years ago at the OLMA- the Swiss national farm show – except the jokes were German.
One company was looking for investors to put money into Jatropha plantations (a biodiesel shrub) in Kenya. That’s a subject for another blog.
Maya and I parked our sore legs for a bit and listened to a talk by Agri-Trend, brokers for Alberta carbon credits. Later we stopped at their booth to discuss the whole issue a little more. Can we sell credits for the 100 acres of virgin bush we keep on our home quarter? – We can’t, because it was there before 2002. We would have to clear the land and replant it to trees – then we could sell credits! There are definitely some questions here.
My backpack full of brochures and my head with information, I was happy to meet the guys at 4:30 p.m. It was a great date (with Maya)!