There were changes at this year’s Agri-Visions convention at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds, and organizers say the new features were well-received.
“It’s a really great opportunity for the ag community to come to town, do business, meet their suppliers and their friends and neighbours,” said Kelly Sidoryk, chair of the Agri-Visions committee at the Lloydminster Exhibition. “It’s a unique event in this area where both the grain and livestock sectors can come together and do business and learn.”
This year, organizers chose to include conferences featuring panel discussions with experts in agriculture-related fields, like livestock, grain and the state of the industry. Sidoryk says speakers like Glen Hodgson, senior vice-president and chief economist at the Conference Board of Canada, added a lot to Agri-Visions.
“He was such an excellent speaker, giving a total overview of the global economy, but then bringing it down to our region and our industry,” she said. “That was very interesting to hear his update on oil and gas. He had a lot of insight that I thought was very valuable.”
An added bonus to the conference format was that it served as a continuing education credit opportunity for professional agrologists.
“Like many professional associations ... they need so many continuing education credits a year to maintain their professional designation, and this qualifies as that,” Sidoryk said. “It’s great that we can offer that.”
Also in attendance were Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart and Alberta assistant deputy agriculture and rural development minister John Brown. They spoke at the Campfire and Vittles Banquet and also had the opportunity to meet participants and exhibitors. Sidoryk says it’s important for politicians to be a part of the convention.
“They can come and see how strong and vibrant our economy is and it gives them an opportunity to meet some of the producers in this area,” Sidoryk said.
“The minister and the associate deputy minister can see firsthand what is going on in agriculture in the Midwest.”
Another new addition was the horsemanship clinic that went on along with a livestock handling workshop.
“Those are both very effective instructors and you’re right there on the edge and there’s a lot of demonstrations, but also questions and dialogue,” Sidoryk said.
Overall, organizers say that the new format was a success and future Agri-Visions conventions will continue to feature panel discussions and conferences.
“Everybody that went to them was really impressed with the quality of the speakers,” Sidoryk said.