Lethbridge’s premier agriculture show always draws thousands of visitors, and this year was no exception.
About 19,000 visitors attended the show here from March 4 to 6. The show included the North American Seed Fair, outdoor equipment displays, and 350 indoor booths, manned by 520 exhibitors promoting everything from farm equipment to chemicals to seed and banking services.
“While attendance numbers were down by about 1,900 people, this does not in any way reflect the exuberance of both exhibitors and visitors,” said Doug Kryzanowksi, manager of corporate relations, marketing, events and entertainment for Lethbridge’s Exhibition Park.
Generally, about 20,000 people walk through the doors of Exhibition Park for AgExpo, and there’s usually a waiting list of 40 to 50 exhibitors. “There wasn’t anything particularly new this year,” said Kryzanowski. “We were monitoring the show, given the economic forecast, to see how it was going. We were very happy because when the exhibitors are happy, we’re happy. Many of them talked about the high level of activity at the booths.”
“When the exhibitors are happy, we’re happy.”
– Doug Kryzanowski
The event even drew a few high-profile faces – including Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, who helped serve breakfast on Friday morning, and Provincial Agriculture Minister George Groeneveld, who gave a speech at the seed fair winners’ banquet.
Planning for next year’s show is already underway, with a few new options on the horizon, included a restructuring of Heritage Hall. “Agriculture is such a constant industry,” said Kryzanowski. “Still, we’ll see where the economy lies and plan any new features from there.”
As host to the North American Seed Fair, AgExpo displays over 53 classes in Pedigreed Seed Classes, Open Classes, and Junior Classes at the seed fair on the Seed Floor of the South Pavilion. The North American Seed Fair is one of the oldest seed fairs in Western Canada.
Grand Aggregate winners for 2009 were Keho Lake Colony of Barons for Open and Tony Crooymans & Sons of Bow Island for Pedigreed. Champion winners were Tony Crooymans & Sons of Bow Island for Pedigreed Cereal, Don Peterson of Tilley for Pedigreed Forage and Grasses, LeRon Torrie of Grassy Lake for Open Coarse Grain, Andre Sanders of Manitou (Manitoba) for Open Oilseed, Kolk Farms of Iron Springs for Open Forage and Grasses, Albion Ridge Colony for Open Special Crops, and Ryan Kirschenman of Medicine Hat for Open Hay. Eric Hofer of Morrin was named Junior Aggregate Winner.