The 32nd annual Agri-Trade Equipment Expo has begun in Red Deer. Agri-Trade runs through Saturday at Westerner Park.
The expo, which is sold out and has a waiting list of over 80 exhibitors, allows vendors to showcase the newest equipment, technology and services in the agriculture industry.
“We have exhibitors and attendees from around the globe who meet here in Central Alberta over these four days. From the innovations that are unveiled to the valuable conversations that happen at the booths, we see some amazing connections happen,” said Dianne Smirl, show manager. “The exhibitors really know that this is their launch pad for the next growing season. They bring in their latest and greatest. This is the chance for farmers to get in the cab, play with all the buttons and see how it all works.”
Last year, about 23,000 people walked through the doors at Agri-Trade and Smirl said she is expecting those numbers to stay the same.
“It has been a rough year for agriculture in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and in Alberta. Some people did very well and other people didn’t do so well,” she said, adding that she does not think the downturn in the economy will affect attendance numbers. “We have a pretty loyal base, so even though we’ve had a rough year, farmers are really resilient. One year you can be the king of the hill and the next year you can be wiped out by a hail storm.
“The show is really a networking opportunity for them. They can sit down with their neighbour and ask about each other’s seasons and what they did differently and what they are planning for next year.”
Smirl added she encourages Central Albertans to come and check out the expo.
“For people in agriculture this is the launch pad for the next year, but I also encourage other people to come too – agriculture touches everyone – not just those who are producing but anybody who eats food – you’ve been touched by agriculture. If you really want to get the real facts on agriculture and you want to learn a little bit more, I encourage you to come and talk to the producers and learn how they are growing your food. It is a great opportunity for people to get in and see that.”
Show hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is $14, which includes parking.