Farmfair Boosts Its Lineup Of Attractions

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Fall is here, and with Farmfair fast approaching, the Northlands Agricultural Society is adding more attractions to bring back regular visitors and attract new ones.

It does take us some planning, said Jennifer Guzzwell, Northlands public relations specialist.

We do want the ranchers and the people who are involved in the business, but we are working hard to attract urbanites as well. We have to find ways so that people who live in the city are interested in what we have here as well.

The Alberta Supreme cattle show is a new event at Farmfair this year and will give breeders an opportunity to show their cattle in a high-stakes, prestigious competition on November 12th., Farmfair, Olds Fall Classic, and the Lloydminster Stockade Round-Up have partnered to create a show for top-quality purebred cattle from across Western Canada. The exhibitors of the male and female champions will have the opportunity to win a 2011 Dodge Ram Truck.

The cattle component also includes a revamp of the commercial pen show and the Top 10 Commercial Bred Heifer Show and Sale, in collaboration with Nilsson Brothers and Merck Animal Health.

What we really hope to achieve with this event is the establishment of a sale that will be a benchmarking sale for the cattle industry in northern Alberta, said David Fiddler, Farmfair show manager.

This show will help producers determine what their bred animals are worth and assist commercial cattle sellers to market collectively, sell cattle, and promote their breeding programs.

These are people who are in the business of raising replacement females, so it will be a great opportunity for them because we re probably the largest audience they could get, said Fiddler.

Equine component

Horse people aren t left out of the new sales strategy. The Bloodstock Sale is a collaboration (between the Canadian Supreme Breeders Group, the Alberta Quarter Horse Breeders Group, Northern Bloodstock and Northlands) to create a top-quality horse auction and attract a large audience, said Fiddler. This sale will happen on November 10, the same day as the Canadian Futurity and Snafflebit competition.

At that point, we ll have one of the best audiences for quality horses that you ll ever come across in Alberta, said Fiddler.

To ensure top-quality entrants, would-be competitors must apply to get into this sale and their horses must be approved by industry experts and adjudicators. Instead of typical demonstrations, the sale will feature videos of the grandsire, the sire and the dam of the horses being sold. These videos will be shown at the event, and there will be an Internet component so buyers from around the world will be able to sign on and bid.

This is a real plus and takes equine marketing up a notch, said Fiddler.

To attract urbanites, organizers are putting the fair back in Farmfair, with new educational programming aimed at younger children. The program, which runs from November 5-9, involves commodity groups and is similar to the previous educational programming, Amaze-ing Agriculture, but is targeted to students in Grades 1 to 3. The fair also will have rides and old-fashioned carnival games following a Charlotte s Web theme during the week.

Once that event is finished, Homegrown Alberta will move into the hall. This exhibition will feature Alberta-grown products and showcase different food product innovations and initiatives.

This will include products that are sold at farmers markets, right up to the larger processed goods that are exported out of the province, said Fiddler. Everybody that goes to a fair always goes for the food, so we re going to have lots of that and lots of cooking demonstrations.

In addition to these new shows, there will also be numerous shopping, food and equipment, and business displays, as well as the Heritage Ranch Rodeo and The Canadian Finals Rodeo.

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WhatwereallyhopetoachievewiththiseventistheestablishmentofasalethatwillbeabenchmarkingsaleforthecattleindustryinnorthernAlberta.

DAVID FIDDLER

FARMFAIR SHOW MANAGER

About the author

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Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen lives in Edmonton and has been writing for Alberta Farmer since 2008. Originally from Saskatoon, Alexis is also the author of two collections of poetry, a biography, and a novel called "Mad Cow."

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