The 48th annual Canadian Western Agribition has officially kicked off in Regina, a show that draws thousands of people from across the globe.
Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame 2018 inductee Gerry Ritz officially kicked off Agribition with this year’s Burning of the Brand, which took place Monday morning.
The Burning of the Brand came with an announcement from the government of Saskatchewan that Canadian Western Agribition will receive up to $500,000 to put towards its work with international buyers and developing markets.
“Our government is committed to investing in essential market growth programs, like the Canadian Western Agribition’s market development program, that helps farmers promote Canadian beef around the world,” said Lawrence MacAulay, federal Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister.
“This program will help with beef and livestock market expansion and attract international business, which are both vitally important to the continued growth and prosperity of the Canadian agricultural sector.”
The agreement will see up to $100,000 distributed over five years, beginning in 2018.
Visitors to the Canadian Western Agribition can look forward to a number of events including auctions, workshops, live music and food, all taking place at Evraz Place.
The Agribition show also highlights some of the world’s best beef cattle, horses and sheep.
“We are the best beef show and I’m pretty proud of that. What makes us different is that all the cattle of all the breeds are here at once,” said Bruce Holmquist, Canadian Western Agribition president.
“There are other shows that might be a touch bigger in the U.S., but they don’t have all the cattle there at once. When you come here you see everything that Agribition has to offer.”
One of the biggest draws to the Canadian Western Agribition is the rodeos, and the Agribition High School Rodeo will get things rolling and is taking place at the Brandt Centre all day Monday.
“When I was little I would always come and watch the rodeo and when I started competing I would wait all year for it,” said Brandy Fettes, Saskatchewan High School Rodeo Association vice-president and a competitor.
“You feel like you’re a professional. You’re competing indoors and the atmosphere is great. It’s really cool.”
As for how she is feeling, Fettes says she puts a lot of work into preparing and is looking forward to the challenge.
“Saskatchewan has really tough competition, but I normally just try to stay focused and picture my runs. You always want to have the “perfect run” so I just try to beat my times and don’t think about anybody else’s run,” Fettes said.
Canadian Western Agribition runs until Nov. 24. For a complete schedule of events visit www.agribition.com.