Farm shows!

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.

What's a farm show without a pots and pans salesman? (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

What's a farm show without a pots and pans salesman? (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

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.

The arena showcases the newest shiny technology. (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

The arena showcases the newest shiny technology. (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

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.

No styrofoam cups left, but that doesn't stop an innovative farmer from enjoying a cup of coffee! (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

No styrofoam cups left, but that doesn't stop an innovative farmer from enjoying a cup of coffee! (Photo by Marianne Stamm)

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)!

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