Saturday, November 20, 2010

Homecoming......Bovine Style

The third week of November, ask anybody in the livestock business and if they are not going to be home, then you will probably find them at Canadian Western Agribition in Regina, Saskatchewan.  2010 marks the 40th Anniversary of this prestigious Agriculture Event.

The Mission Statement they have created is
To create and maintain an effective, hospitable and entertaining atmosphere to market Canadian agriculture products and expertise to the world.

And for the past 40 years they have accomplished this and more.  Prior to the 1970 cattle producers from Western Canada make the trek, usually by train to the Toronto Royal.  This was very costly and time consuming.  You were one from home for up to 3 weeks.  The dreamer and visionary of CWA was Chris Sutter.  Long story short Chris made it happen.  The first Agribition took place in November of 1971.

As as younger person, I dreamed of attending Agribition.  Each November my parents and Aunts and Uncles would head off to this great cattle show.  The stories they told on their return of the hospitality, the cattle show and the prices that cattle sold for only made me want to go more.

We have many memories of the past Agribitions that we have attended.  This year marks the 34th for Rob and 30th for me.  Here are some of the show highlights.
  • Being a part of the Alberta 1982 4H Judging Team  - being named Reserve High Point Individual
  • Showing multiple champions for Lewis Farms in the  mid 1980's
  • Showing the heaviest bull in Agribition history - TCCL Firefox 53T - 3020 lbs.
TCCL Firefox 53T
  •  Owning the 1989 Champion Simmental Female
  • Rob judging there in the 1990's
  • Selling the High selling lot in the  2006Simmental Sale - $15,000
Now in addition to the show end of the event, there are the many friends that we get to see each year and the social part of Agribition.  Some events can't be mentioned on here, but I thought I'd reflect on a few that may bring memories back for some of you that have attended and the things that make Agribition unique.
  • The SWAMP - the most famous exhibitor lounge.  Bull have been rode through her, Jimmy Joe's rendition of Cinderella in Pig Latin, and the many stories that have been shared.
  • Tie Outs and Peppermint Schnapps
  • The Weather
  • Bum Darts - This event has been discontinued due to Dawn Miller Wilson winning too many years in a row.  Although I am proud to say that our daughter Stacy is the reigning Farmfair Champion.
    The creators of Yuccaflux
  • Yuccaflux Parties - created by the Simmental Exhibitors 
  • The Agribition Crud

You never get enough sleep
Things have changed a lot in the past 40 years.  We sure don't go to the barn at 3 am each morning.  There use to be a breed banquet and dance to attend each night.  We used to tie out at 7 pm, get showered and changed in to our best clothes and dance until 2:00 and then go to the barns.  We have cut our show stings down to 7 from 30.  And they have a few new barns. I also hope that our cattle have gotten better.

Agribition has now become our family reunion for Rob and I and our daughters Crystal and Stacy.  With the American Thanksgiving falling during the week of the show, for the past 7 years Crystal has met us in Regina.

CDY 9S - High Selling Lot 2006 sale - $15,000
I think what the best thing is about Agribition is that everyone there is excited to be in Agriculture and for us the livestock sector.  Having an Agribition Champion is like no other.  It has been 21 years since we were part of the Supreme Championship and this year we are honored to be a part of it again.  A place where anything can happen.  We'll let you know how it goes.
Thank you to the men and women that had the vision and didn't let challenges keep them from seeing their dream to reality.  One of these men was Mr. Bill Small. 
 Bill was the first Vice-President of CWA.  He was also a member of the Simmental fraternity.  Bill passed away yesterday and won't get to participate in this 40th Anniversary celebration.  We sure will be thinking of him though.  Thanks Bill for all that you did and for the great memories.

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