Kevin Bitter, Leavitt Machinery agriculture product and sales manager, prepares for the annual Agri-Trade Equipment Expo at Westerner Park in Red Deer on Tuesday. The event runs from Wednesday to Friday. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

WATCH: Agri-Trade Equipment Expo to display industry innovation in Red Deer

Technology in agriculture is advancing faster than in many other sectors, says the Agri-Trade Equipment Expo’s show manager.

The innovation of the industry will be on full display at the annual exposition, which runs Wednesday to Friday at Westerner Park in Red Deer.

“I dare to say almost every booth in the show has something innovative and new,” said Dave Fiddler.

“Farmers are embracing technology and consumers are demanding traceability and things like that – a lot of the technology is there for consumer protection as well.”

The Westerner Park buildings were turned over to the expo right after the Canadian Finals Rodeo ended on Sunday.

“By 8 a.m. (Monday) morning, we were setting up booths and people were moving in,” said Fiddler.

“It’s gone pretty well. We have a really good team who work really well together and all the exhibitors have been patient.

“Everybody comes prepared – we do a timed move in so exhibitors in certain parts of the building move in before others. That way, we don’t have everyone lining up at the door at once.”

There are some changes from past expos, Fiddler added.

“We’ve adjusted our floor plans a bit to maximize efficient use of the space. We’ve also changed our Ag Innovations program and turned it into more of a Dragons’ Den format, rather than it being adjudicated by a panel.

“We also have a new farmers’ choice award with our Ag Innovations program.”

It’s a good time to host this event because harvest season is done for the most part, he said.

“Farmers know what they’ve got. They know either what’s in the bin or in the bank. It’s a good time because you’ve just come out of harvest, you’ve just come out of your working season and you know what you need.

“If your equipment is in need of repair or replacement, you’re looking for new products and services to enhance your profitability, you’ve got the time right now to do it,” said Fiddler.

There will be about 500 exhibitors and thousands of attendees expected throughout the week.

For more information on the event, visit www.agri-trade.com.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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