The show must go on — at least in part

Live agricultural main events have been cancelled, but check out these virtual events

Even as some of the major crop and livestock trade shows and conferences have decided to cancel their full events in late 2020 and into early 2021, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some virtual or online activities.

Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) made the tough decision last summer to cancel its 50th anniversary show in Regina, Sask., planned for November 2020. But CWA was busy online with a number of shows, sales and special events — most wrapped up in late November.

One new feature, however, a competition involving a “coast-to-coast campaign to find and celebrate the 50 most influential people in Canadian agriculture,” has still to be completed. Nominations for this new event were open in late 2020. The winners will be announced in early 2021. Visit the CWA website for more details on this and other activities at agribition.com.

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Innovations in Manitoba

And in Manitoba, while the full trade show and most other programs at Manitoba Ag Days have been cancelled for this coming January 2021, the event is proceeding with a couple of important programs, says Kristen Phillips, show manager.

Entries for the Innovation Awards event from a wide range of planned show exhibitors involving new innovations and technologies for both crop and livestock productions were reviewed in late 2020, with the winners in seven categories to be announced in late January 2021.

It is the second year for the innovation showcase, says Phillips. “It is important to recognize new products and new ideas — innovations and technologies — which benefit the agriculture industry,” she adds.

Winners will be selected in the following categories: Agronomics, sponsored by Manitoba Ag Days and Manitoba Co-operator; Farm Safety, sponsored by Manitoba Ag Days and Grainews; Agribusiness Services, sponsored by Manitoba Ag Days and Country Guide; Agriculture Equipment, sponsored by Manitoba Ag Days and AgDealer; Animal and Livestock, sponsored by Manitoba Ag Days and Canadian Cattlemen magazine; Ag Tech, sponsored by Manitoba Ag Days and Farmzilla; and Farm Built Solutions, sponsored by Manitoba Ag Days and The Western Producer. There will also be a Best in Show award.

Manitoba Ag Days is also continuing with its Community Giving Program, which helps to provide funding to community projects, says Phillips. Winners will be announced in late January 2021.

The nominations for awards for the 2021 program were open in late 2020 and limited to only licensed Early Learning Centres for the 2021 show. “Since the program began, we have had several early learning centres apply for the funding and so we want to spread out our impact by supporting 15 centres in 2021,” says Phillips.

Those selected to receive Manitoba Ag Days funds can use the money for any project, such as upgrades, infrastructure, supplies, equipment, artificial turf, windows, play structures and anything else. There are no limitations.

As well, Manitoba Ag Days will be giving away three scholarships to Assiniboine Community College Agribusiness students along with an education grant to Agriculture in the Classroom Manitoba in 2021.

“The goal of the fund is to be able to share some of the show’s success with the rural communities where our patrons and exhibitors live,” says Phillips. “We have had an excellent response over the past years and know how hard this year has been on everyone.  We are always eager to help projects in our local communities.”

To date, Manitoba Ag Days has “given back” more than $28,000 annually, to a total well over $288,000 to community organizations throughout Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

For more information visit agdays.com.

Pork industry innovations in Banff

The Banff Pork Seminar (BPS) will be an online virtual event running Jan. 5-7, 2021. Free conference registration is open, while nominations for the F. X. Aherne Prize for Innovative Pork Production are now closed. Winners will be announced during the seminar.

Always a popular feature of the Banff Pork Seminar, the innovation awards recognized “innovations that can be big or small, simple or complex — the creativity and innovation of entries always amazes us,” says Ben Willing of the University of Alberta, who chairs the BPS awards selection committee.

“The innovation can apply to any segment of the industry including feeding, breeding, ventilation, disease control and prevention, transportation, manure management, animal handling, facility and enterprise management and pork quality and food safety,” he says.

For more information about a great lineup of virtual speakers for the 2021 Banff Pork Seminar, visit banffpork.ca.

Crop Production Week

While the Western Canadian Crop Production Show appears to be still planning a live event at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon, January 11-14, 2021, the CropSphere component of the week will be held online.

Organizers say it was a difficult decision to cancel the live CropSphere Conference, but it seemed like the smart and safest thing to do.

The annual general meetings for the CropSphere host organizations including, Saskatchewan canola, barley, wheat, flax, oats and pulse groups will be held virtually on January 12, 2021. The day will also include presentations from analysts on the market outlook for each crop.

For details visit cropproductiononline.com or you can also email [email protected].

About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.

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