First the Farm Progress Show, then the Calgary Stampede, then Ag In Motion, and now Canadian Western Agribition for 2020 has been cancelled. Whatever is going on out there, this must be serious. I even heard rumours that Christmas 2020 is being postponed until next Easter… (well not really, but you never know.)
The impact of this COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a roller coaster ride in terms of life events and emotions. So much of “normal” life came to grinding halt around March 12 with a pretty wide spread lockdown of commercial and social events — stay home, minimize physical contact with others, don’t give the plague a host — oh, yes and flatten the curve.
Now as we get into May and June, restrictions are being eased up, which leads me to think the storm is passing, we can start making our way out of the root cellar. And then this morning, I read an announcement that the 50th annual Agribition slated for November 2020 has been postponed until 2021. Geeze, November is still five months away. It makes me think we are not out of the woods yet.
I know these big events take months (year or more) of planning, and who knows for sure now what things will be like in November — the pandemic could be over or we may be knee deep in wave two or three — so cancelling the event now is like cutting your losses.
I need to get my head around the fact, that what we see today could be what we get for the foreseeable future. It could take a year or more before we cancel our Zoom subscriptions, throw facemasks away, and begin hugging strangers at random. No doubt a lot hinges on finding a vaccine that neutralizes this coronavirus.
THE WORLD GOES VIRTUAL
And I should note that some of these major events aren’t totally cancelled. They are being re-packaged, or re-designed in a virtual, or on-line format. The Ag In Motion farm show near Lanigan, Sask will be offered on-line this year July 21-25. You can learn more at: Ag in Motion Discovery Plus
And in Regina, Agribition is working to create “a new digital experiences for exhibitors, international buyers, and students,” says CWA CEO Chris Lane. Work on mentorship, international market development, education, and scholarships will also continue through 2020. So keep in contact with the Agribition website at www.agribition.com to see how that event unfolds Nov. 30 to Dec. 5, 2020.
And on the bright side, going virtual with Ag In Motion means you wont have that half-mile walk in from the parking lot to get to the exhibit area and with Agribition you don’t have to watch where you’re walking around the barns to avoid stepping in something nasty.
Lee Hart is a field editor with Grainews based in Calgary. Contact him at 403-592-1964 or by email at [email protected]