The future is bright for farmers, says the winner of the Agri-Trade Equipment Expo’s Ag Innovations competition.
Vincent Pawluski, creator of the RC Farm Arm, and his family took home the $20,000 grand prize at the competition, as well as the $5,000 Farmers’ Choice Award prize at Westerner Park Thursday afternoon.
Agri-Trade Expo returned to Red Deer on Wednesday after it was cancelled last year due to the ongoing pandemic. Hosted by Westerner Park and the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce, the event features the best in agriculture equipment, technology, services and products.
The RC Farm Arm provides wireless tractor control for use with auger, bagger, extractors and any other stationary PTO work.
“It feels pretty cool to be recognized. I created something that’s an innovative product that would be accepted by everybody,” Pawluski, adding the product is still being produced in the basement of the family’s farm in Grande Prairie.
“We’re hoping to build a building on the farm that would be dedicated to production. Sales are going to need to pick up a bit for that, but this definitely gives it a little boost.”
The other finalists were Agtron Enterprise, ClicR Technologies, Intelligent Ag and Radono Industries.
It’s an exciting time to be a farmer, “especially with the onset of 3D printing being available to everyone,” said Pawluski.
“We’re going to be able to bring our ideas to market much quicker – (potentially) a year from an idea to delivery. I don’t think that could happen without 3D printing. It just wasn’t an option before,” he said.
Rod Bradshaw, Ag Innovations advisory committee chair, praised all five finalists at the competition.
“It really is an exciting time (for farmers),” Bradshaw said.
“Technology is what’s driving us these days. To see these fine entrants, it’s really exciting. More people are investing in agriculture and are partnering to make sure agriculture moves forward.”
There were other great products that weren’t able to finish in the Top 5, he added.
“Unfortunately you can’t have them all there,” Bradshaw said.
“There were really some interesting products. It’s great to see people investing in agriculture and saying, ‘Here’s a need. I’m going top provide something to fix that need.’”
The Agri-Trade Equipment Expo wraps up Friday at Westerner Park. For more information, visit www.agri-trade.com.