June 22nd, 2024

Ag-Expo returns to the furrow for 2022


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on March 3, 2022.

Herald photo by Al Beeber Kevin Nieboer and Kelly James of Nieboer Farm Supplies at Nobleford were glad to be back at Ag-Expo catching up with customers after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the doors opened wide Wednesday on Ag-Expo.
The Expo and North American Seed Fair runs until Friday at the Lethbridge Exhibition. Parking at Ag-Expo is in the south lot with the entrance by Bully’s. Exhibition Park’s website does say, however, limited $5 onsite parking is available in the north lot.
Just minutes after doors opened Wednesday, the parking lot and exhibition areas were packed.
The 120,000 square feet of indoor exhibition space was filled with exhibitors from around the globe who converged on Lethbridge for the event. There is also 250,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space where companies are selling farm equipment.
The seed fair, one of the oldest in western Canada, is showcasing more than 25 classes including pedigreed seed, open and junior classes.
The roughly 350 exhibitors include companies selling irrigation systems, fertilizer, farm equipment, seeds and livestock supplies.
The Expo speaker series features agricultural experts and industry trailblazers talking on a range of topics and local people speaking about innovation, farm to fork experience, mental health and other topics.
At 11 a.m. today, Joshua Day Chief, Travis Albrecht and Scott Walker will discuss advanced agriculture and soil biology in a 45-minute talk.
Mike Warkentin, CEO of the Exhibition, speaks at 1 p.m., Ram Khanal at 2 and Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry Nate Horner at 3.
Megan Shapka of Lethbridge College kicks off the series Friday at 10 a.m.
For exhibitors, Ag-Expo is not only a chance to generate business but also to become reacquainted with friends and others in the agriculture industry.
Kevin Neiboer and Kelly James of Neiboer Farm Supplies at Nobleford were excited to be back after a two-year hiatus.
“It has been very, very nice to see our customers, fellow co-workers from different dealerships, just the atmosphere of being a part of the community again,” said James.
Neiboer said supply issues are causing problems with the agriculture industry but “as days and months go by, stuff will start coming through.”
Supply problems are due to a mixture of issues including the shortage of electronic components, which will hold up some manufacturing. Labour shortages have also impacted agriculture, Neiboer said.
Early response from visitors was positive, said James.
“It’s been steady, people are asking questions” with much early contact being with old friends and acquaintance who they haven’t seen for awhile.
“It’s that relationship building again. We’ve been stuck in our holes forever,” added James.
Dealer principal Neiboer is optimistic about Ag-Expo’s success this year.
“I think it will be a good show for us,” he said.
Admission price to Ag-Expo is $12. With the lifting of provincial COVID-19 regulations on Tuesday, there is no masking required in the Exhibition or proof of vaccination needed to enter. However, the Exhibition is recommending masking, physical distancing and frequent hand sanitization while inside.
The event runs today and Friday from 9 a.m until 5 p.m.

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