File photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff Retired farmers Al Bourne (left) from Red Deer and Jim Fergusson from Kindersley, Sask., take a look at a backsaver auger during the Agri-Trade Equipment Expo at Westerner Park in Red Deer Wednesday.

Attendance at Agri-trade in Red Deer among best in a decade

Calling it the most attended Agri-Trade since 2009, organizers were elated after four days at the Westerner.

Dave Fiddler, Agri-trade show manager, said the attendance numbers were at least on par with 2009, when more than 23,000 people attended, and may have been a little bit better.

“It went well,” said Fiddler. “It’s among the most attended shows over the last 10 years. I haven’t got the final numbers yet, but it looked pretty good.”

More than 475 exhibitors filled the Westerner from Nov. 8 to 11. Helping with attendance this year was producers were able to get their crops off in good condition in a timely manner and cattle prices are strong from ranchers.

Farm Credit Canada had their “state of the union” announcement on Canada’s status in terms of agronomics, Fiddler said. In early November, FCC said Canada was about to strengthen its position as one of the world’s top agriculture and agri-food trading nations. In 2016, Canada was the fifth largest exporter of agriculture and the 11th largest exporter of manufactured food goods.

Agri-trade has long been an opportunity for companies big and small to introduce new products. As such, innovation awards are handed out. This year’s winners featured a Combine Cylinder Reverser system, the ScherGain Drop Pan and hydraulic doors with few moving parts.

“We had one exhibitor who told me they had the strongest sales of any show, anywhere, ever,” said Fiddler.

Next, Fiddler said they will look at the economic impact in Western Canada the trade show had. He estimates the trade show led to about $150 million in economic activity.

“We intend to do an economic impact study over the course of the year here and maybe get a better handle on what the show actually means to the economy of Western Canada,” said Fiddler.

The impact can be widespread ranging from a producer who buys new piece of farm equipment and is able to grow and harvest more crops to the jobs created in the manufacturing of the new farm equipment.



mcrawford@reddeeradvocate.com

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