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Agribition moves ahead despite uncertainty: ‘As long as we’re able, we’ll be ready’

Despite uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Canadian Western Agribition organizers are preparing for its 50th show in November.
Despite uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Canadian Western Agribition organizers are preparing for its 50th show in November. Germain Wilson / Global News

Canadian Western Agribition (CWA) organizers are preparing for its 50th anniversary show in November despite the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve withstood a lot of challenges and headwinds over the years like everyone in agriculture and I think it’s a tribute and testament to the resiliency of people in this industry and province,” said CWA CEO Chris Lane.

“As long as we’re able, we’ll be ready.”

READ MORE: Cattle, goats and alpacas help kick off 49th Canadian Western Agribition

After postponing its annual general meeting and volunteer appreciation night in Regina, both scheduled for earlier this month, CWA is hopeful the show will go on.

CWA took to Twitter, posting an open letter to its “agribition family” ensuring the event will happen this year.

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“We are certainly aware there is a lot of uncertainty out there — certainly in the events world, but also in the agriculture world,” Lane said.

“We’ve got producers who are caving and farmers who are getting ready to seed and we really wanted to send a message that despite all that uncertainty, that the planning and intention of agribition is still 100 per cent geared towards having a show as normally scheduled.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Canadian Western Agribition postpones 2 upcoming events in Regina

Last week, the Saskatchewan government revealed its plan to reopen the economy, something Lane said is a promising sign moving forward.

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“Agribition really is one of the biggest agriculture marketplaces in the country,” Lane said.

“The business of farming happens at agribition and it is important for all of these producers, especially in Saskatchewan to have that venue and a place to market.”

As for international travellers, Lane said it’s the one piece of the puzzle that’s still up in the air.

“You’ll see agribition be ready to welcome international travellers if that’s allowed here in Saskatchewan, in Canada and in those home countries as well,” Lane said.

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READ MORE: Saskatchewan to start reopening from the coronavirus pandemic on May 4

If not, Lane added technology will still make it possible for the business side of things to take place virtually.

As for preparations, Lane said this year’s show is unprecedented and will be the single best place in the world to see breeding stock.

More announcements can be expected in the future when it comes to entertainment.

Despite agribition moving forward with its planning, Canada’s Farm Show 2020 has been postponed.

“This is an unprecedented time for our city, province, country and the world,” said Tim Reid, President and CEO of Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) in a statement.

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“We are about 50 days away from the scheduled event. We have continued to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and have adjusted and adapted to the public health orders that remain in place. In order to continue flattening the curve, we felt it was best to make the difficult decision to postpone the event.”

The farm show was scheduled for June 16-18, 2020. A rescheduled date has not been confirmed.

READ MORE: Regina Exhibition Association faces tough financial times during COVID-19 pandemic

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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