Everything we love about agriculture is under one roof this week at the Keystone Centre in Brandon during the 47th Annual Manitoba Ag Days!
With 550 exhibitors, 63 speakers, and 32 contenders in the Innovation Showcase, the 3-day event will live up to its reputation of being Canada's largest indoor farm show, boasting 540,000 square feet all under one roof!
Produced on the Prairies is this year's theme and kicks off with a Taste of the Prairies Monday at the Dome Building on the Keystone Centre grounds. Tuesday morning starts the day with a pancake breakfast, also at the Dome Building.
"You're going to see the Produced on the Prairies theme throughout our entire show, in our speaker theatres as well as in our new event on Monday night," explains Ag Days General Manager, Kristen Phillips. "We partnered with Farm Credit Canada as our major sponsor for our Monday evening event, and we're working with local breweries here in Manitoba, as well as local food companies, to bring their products to the event."
The trade show portion of the event takes days to complete the tour! It's important to note that though are 550 exhibitors, there is an extensive list of businesses and organizations waiting to get the thumbs up that they can be included in the line up of exhibitors!
"Without our exhibitors we would not be a farm show," shares Phillips. "We are so proud to have 550 exhibitors in our show. If it has anything to do with agriculture, it will be at our show."
This year's lineup of speakers will engage audiences with a multitude of topics, including agronomy, artificial intelligence, innovations, geo-politics and marketing. "It's a fantastic speaker line up," adds Phillips.
Of course, there always needs to be an education element for kids!
Agriculture in the Classroom-Manitoba invites schools to participate in a type of scavenger hunt throughout the entire Keystone complex.
"Over the three days of our show Grade 5-6 students come to Ag Days and do a world game and learn about trade and movement of food and food products. And then in the afternoon they do a scavenger hunt with participating exhibitors to teach the youth about jobs in agriculture. This year we have 100 exhibitors that have signed up for this initiative," she adds.
Phillips stresses the importance of sharing this information with these young people, as many are not aware of the career paths available to them in this day of technology and innovation within the Ag sector.
"To be in agriculture is not just to be a farmer," she explains. "There are so many jobs from seed production to scientist, engineers, sales and marketing, veterinarian, spray plane pilots, accountants, there are so many careers in the Ag industry!"
"We're so excited to focus on this age group because these are the kids that are looking at their career paths and how to line up their high school and university courses to pursue that career. This gives us an opportunity to get in front of that generation and expose them to the Ag industry!"
Phillips says there's something for everyone at Ag Days! And this includes the 50/50 raffle which builds the money pot over the course of the three days. Half of the earning goes to one winner; the other half goes to their Ag Days Gives Back initiative which allocated funds to a number of organizations and projects across the province. Each year the pot gets bigger, and each year they're able to award more cash donations and scholarships back into Manitoba communities!
"Please come and join us at Ag Days!" invites Kristen Phillips. "It's such an honor to put this show on for the industry. For those who don't know, my Board is made up of farmers and so we are passionate about the industry, and we just want to show you everything there is to know about Ag!"
For the entire week's line up of events visit the AG DAYS website, click HERE!