Exhibitors, crowds pack Westerner (photo gallery)

Central Alberta’s benchmark farm show continues to hum on all cylinders regardless of a weak economy and extreme hardships in the livestock sector.

Doug Hilsabeck of Renn Mill Centre talks with customers Jim Taylor of Westlock and Ken Dudar of Leduc about his grain bagging system his company is marketing at Agri-Trade this year.

Central Alberta’s benchmark farm show continues to hum on all cylinders regardless of a weak economy and extreme hardships in the livestock sector.

The 26th edition of Agri-Trade, one of North America’s premier farm equipment and technology shows, opened at Westerner Park on Wednesday with big crowds and a full line of about 430 exhibitors.

Barely into its second hour, the show was stopped at 10:45 in honour of Remembrance Day, holding its own memorial service in the central gallery, said show manager Patrick Kennedy.

The gallery was absolutely jammed with people who stopped what they were doing to take part in the service, said Kennedy.

Afterward, dignitaries and members of the show committee made their way to the Chalet to present innovation awards and student bursaries during the show’s opening luncheon.

Renn Mill Centre of Lacombe was one of the six winners chosen out of 13 finalists for a piece of equipment that unloads large plastic bags used as grain storage.

Capable of handling 110 bushels per minute, the unloader moves the grain from the bags directly onto grain trucks while bundling the bags themselves for recycling, said company representative Doug Hilsabeck.

Depending on the type of grain, each bag holds between 30,000 and 40,000 bushels of grain.

Storage bags were common 20 or so years ago, but fell out of favour because they were difficult to manage. Renn Mill Centre’s system makes the bags a more viable alternative to storage bins, said Hilsabeck.

Other Innovation Award winners include Farmers Edge Precision Consulting, Jaylor Fabricating, Moly Manufacturing and RTK Roydale Manufacturing.

Agri-Trade also awards eight student bursaries of $1,500 each to assist those who are pursuing careers in agriculture and related industry, split evenly between Olds College and Red Deer College.

Winners of the Olds College bursaries were Cody Coleman of Innisfail, Travis Page of Didsbury, Michael Schiedeman of Stony Plain and Kristina Peters of Linden.

The Red Deer College bursaries went to Leanne Ejack of Innisfail, Jessica Furniss of Rocky Mountain House, Shelby Reid of Red Deer and Genevieve Zeigner, who was the only student not present to accept her reward.

Shelby Reid, in accepting her bursary, expressed the importance of the bursary as a way of helping young people chart careers in agriculture.

“Without your ongoing support, year after year, students like myself would not be able to reach their goals.”

Agri-Trade also serves as the venue for presenting the Alberta Beef Congress student award, a legacy fund left for students after the show was disbanded.

Representatives Tom Towers and Jackie Brooks presented this year’s award of $1,500 to Trevor Deagle of Consort. Deagle plans to carry on with his family’s farm, which has operated for more than 100 years.

Agri-Trade is a joint project of the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce and the Westerner Exposition Association.

The show runs daily through Saturday.

Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 per person, including parking.


Just Posted

Red Deer group looking to keep roads safe for cyclists

A Red Deer cycling group is concerned about road safety after multiple… Continue reading

Smoke and pets do not mix

Take care of your pets during the smoky weather

Former Red Deer lawyer sentenced

Charges included possession of stolen property

Man causes mischief with axe in Ponoka

Arson and attempted break and enter charges laid

WATCH: Raising money for kids at the Gord Bamford Charity Golf Classic

Former NHL players, Olympians, pro rodeo circuit members and musicians teed off… Continue reading

Oilpatch fears delays as U.S. judge orders further review of KXL pipeline route

CALGARY — Potential delays in the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline… Continue reading

‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin dies at 76

NEW YORK — Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen of Soul” who sang… Continue reading

Arrests in Burnaby, B.C., as order against Kinder Morgan protest camp enforced

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters Thursday as officers enforced a… Continue reading

‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

BRITT, Ont. — From a helicopter flying over a smouldering swath of… Continue reading

Calgary Fire Department logs record opioid overdose calls in July

CALGARY — The Calgary Fire Department says there were a record number… Continue reading

RCMP in Burnaby, B.C., say Kinder Morgan protest camp to be dismantled

BURNABY, B.C. — The RCMP arrested protesters when officers enforced a court… Continue reading

Study: Smokers better off quitting, even with weight gain

NEW YORK — If you quit smoking and gain weight, it may… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month