On March 8 and 9, prospective cattle owners descended on the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds to partake in the fourth annual Progress Steer and Heifer Show and 96th annual Pride of the Prairies Lloydminster Bull Sale.
Ninety-one head of cattle were groomed and washed and herded into the viewing area to be displayed and judged. Spectators sitting in the bleachers and standing alongside the ring followed along in their programs and took pictures of the livestock on parade.
“We’ve seen some growth this year, we’re really excited,” said Lloydminster Exhibition general manager Mike Sidoryk. “The market is strong. It’s turning out to be a very good year to be in the cattle business.”
Sidoryk says it’s important for people to get a chance to observe their cattle in-person before making a financial commitment.
“It’s a great opportunity to see how your bull moves, how he walks how he looks and compared to the others,” he said. ” It just gives you a better overall insight ... to size the bulls up that you’re looking for with the other bulls in the ring.
Sidoryk says there are not any breeds that are in particular demand. It all comes down to personal preference.
“All the sales have been very strong for this spring, so I think it’s just whatever matches your breeding program and whatever matches your herd or the breed you’ve got,” he said. “Everybody’s breed is important for each individual.”
For those who were unable to attend the cattle shows and sales, the exhibition has provided online options for the past two years. A live stream of the event can be watched on the Internet, putting the viewer right in the stands.
“You can watch the Lloydminster bull sale from home and you can buy and purchase online as well,” Sidoryk said.
“It’s actually the same thing as being on-site. What happens is there’s a fellow on the phone with you and as soon as you hit the bid button he calls your bid in to the auctioneer just like if you were sitting in the stands or standing beside the ring. So it’s an almost instantaneous process. It’s no different than you sitting in the stands.”
He says this allows for more people from more places to see the livestock live and take part in the auction.
“The bidding can come in from anywhere basically around the world. We have had bidders over the years come up from the United States, northern B.C., Ontario, Quebec, all over the place. If they’ve got access to the Internet, they can access the sale,” Sidoryk said.
“There are cameras set up, so it’s real-time. Not quite the same excitement as being at the sale, but you can still do your business.”