Thursday, 05 March 2015 04:45

Swift Current Agricultural and Exhibition Association: fostering continued success

Written by  Contributed
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The Swift Current Ag & Ex held its annual meeting on March 3rd, 2015. Reports from various committees were presented.

The mandate of Swift Current Ag & Ex: a non-profit organization with a mandate to provide service to, and enhance the life of residents of the community and the region in the areas of
agriculture, entertainment, education, sport and culture. Any successful organization needs a strong foundation to build on year after year. Through the expertise of all our volunteers and staff 2014 was a very successful Swift Current 100th Frontier Days / Homecoming year.
The Spring Home & Leisure Show took place in March; the trade show has been a great event for the Ag & Ex with over 75 exhibitors we are maxed out with the number of exhibitors that we can accept and have had a waiting list. Attendance was 5,000 in 2014 which is about our three year average.
The 3rd annual Discover the Farm & Poultry& Exotic Animal Sale attracted over 1500 people. The goal of this project is to invite various safety and agricultural groups, including the exotic chickens, birds and other specialty animals raised by local breeders, into one site. More than 600 school students interacted with the 12 exhibitors. The National Progressive Agricultural Safety Program provides guidelines and training for the safety aspect and community professionals guide students through a variety of ranch, farming and safety demonstrations.
Public interest was strong as the opportunity was offered to take in the activities and to purchase the exotic birds and animals from local producers on the Saturday.
The Egg & Ex Hatching Program continues to grow with school communities booking the incubators it’s a great learning experience for all ages. Not only was it made available in the schools, but also throughout the city – the incubator and the Button Quail were a hit. The Swift Current Ag & Ex received an international award for the Discover the Farm: a Farm Facts Experience along with the Ag & Ex Hatching School Program. : The Agricultural Award of Excellence was awarded from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions.
Frontier Days celebrated 76 years along with the City of Swift Current’s Centennial Homecoming Celebrations June 26, 27, 28, 29. 2014.
With the theme, ‘Saddle Up for the Ride of a Century’, Frontier Days was a mix of traditional celebrations along with the Centennial Homecoming activities. The Cultural Pavilion, Centennial Tent and Heritage Pavilion were new additions for the Centennial. The affordable gate admission of $5.00 for adults/ students and under 10 free, the board of directors has continued with the vision that every day is a family day at Frontier Days. We were thrilled to present a well attended line up of shows, exhibits and attractions. We topped our attendance at 26,000.
New in 2014 is Frontier Days Youth Initiatives program which will be a continuing committee of volunteer high school youth. The Ambassador for Frontier Days was also reintroduced reminiscent of the Rodeo Queen of the past. The Ag & Ex promoted the success of our youth by providing scholarship monies to this young leader for her education in the field of education at the University of Regina. This Scholarship fund will be offered to future Ambassadors in a continuing support of our youth.
Doc’s Town is growing each year with visitors. The Doc’s Town volunteer committee offers events each weekend in the summer. Doc’s Town is open weekends from June 1 until the September long weekend. Tours are available during the week upon request. Events hosted throughout the summer. Country School Recitations, a Country Dance Antique Tractor Show, Down on the Farm, Made by Hand crafters, A Day at School weekend for the kids, Country Church Hymn sing , Harvest festival featuring a corn roast, scarecrow festival and Sunday
Dance. A special 100th celebration for Ball’s Blacksmith Shop brought in many visitors who shared memories and appreciation to all the volunteers and directors.
Kinetic Park welcomed a major undertaking - the addition of the new Matador Livestock Office. Funding from the Livestock Committee and the Swift Current AG & Ex made this a reality. A growing number of 4H and other groups participating in the Ag & Ex shows required additional storage space for materials and the office organizational matters.
Kinetic Exhibition Park came alive September 24 – 27th with the Swift Current Agricultural and Exhibition Association hosting the ‘Young Ranchman’s All Breeds Youth Livestock Show’. This new venture project was held in conjunction with the ‘Ranchman’s Ridin’ and Recitin’, Young Ranchman’s added a youthful flare to a weekend steeped with old West traditions. The Beef Pen Show, Heavy Horse Show, Stock Dog Trials and the Provincial Ranch Horse Competitions were a good mix of activities for all ages and interests to enjoy. Hooves and Feathers Show and Sale along with the Cowboy Poetry and musical entertainment made for a fun- filled weekend. The Young Ranchman’s Livestock Show is an event open to all youth 21 years of age and under. After many months of planning, 108 young Agricultural enthusiast gathered together for three days of not only livestock events, but also public speaking, art, photography, team show judging and most importantly networking and team building. The Little Ranchers program for ages 8 and under continues to be very popular. The overwhelming response to this show confirmed the need to provide an event that encourages our provincial youth to remain involved in agriculture.
In October we hosted our annual Volunteer & Sponsorship Appreciation Supper with over 200 in attendance, we continue to build and sustain our volunteer base.
With proceeds the Ag & Ex generated from Frontier Days and the Home & Leisure Show we have been able to bring in a higher level of entertainment as well as assist with improving facilities at Kinetic Park. The generosities of our sponsors community support allow us to keep expanding our exhibition and work with the community to see it grow and prosper, and we thank the City of Swift Current for their continued feedback, support, and partnership. The Livestock Committee has purchased and erected the used building to replace the existing Livestock Office. This building is a welcome addition to the Frontier Days fair, 4H livestock shows, Ranchman’s Ridin’ and Recitin’ and other events.
Even though financially the Ag & Ex Association’s 2014 year was down a bit from previous years, we were very proud of our contributions to the Centennial Celebrations. This truly was a Ride of the Century as the Ag & Ex connected with the City of Swift Current and the Centennial Committee. We appreciated the opportunity to be community partners, celebrating the Past / Present / and Future with the Frontier Days Homecoming.
In closing, our partnership with the City of Swift Current is appreciated as we continue to see infrastructure improvement at Kinetic Exhibition Park. Our expanding programming and strong fiscal responsibility allows the Ag & Ex to continue promoting excellence in Western culture and community commitment.

Read 12593 times Last modified on Thursday, 05 March 2015 14:39