Lethbridge Ag. Expo and Seed Fair enjoys another successful year

By Tim Kalinowski


It was another successful year for the Lethbridge Ag. Expo and Seed Fair held at Exhibition Park on Feb. 29-March 2, with lots of deals being made, and plenty of agricultural companies, service sector industry representatives and seed suppliers from across western Canada and further afield in attendance. “We are one of the big four shows in Western Canada,” said Doug Kryzanowski, director of marketing for Exhibition Park. “Just the representation from the exhibitors, I know for example we have a company here from Arkansas, our name isn’t just southern Alberta, but our strengths in the economy are farm and ranch. “I think this show is one of the best exhibits of who we are in Lethbridge. It is one of the most exposed in Western Canada, and we are very proud to say that.” Kryzanowski confirmed there is usually a waiting list of 50 to 60 vendors who are unable to get a place in the showcase, but some of those show up anyway with hopes of getting a last minute spot, or at least to meet offsite with prized customers while they are in town anyway. “They will take the time to come here just for the chance to get in,” he confirmed. “But you have to remember, most of these people have clients in this area. “If they can’t get into the show, the best they can do is take some of their clients out for dinner afterward, even though they are not in the show.” Kryzanowski was particularly proud of the success of Seed Fair this year. “The Seed Fair is another story on its own,” he explained. “We almost lost it a few years ago, but we have a young committee on it now and they have really stepped it up. We have got over 200 seed entries this year. Usually we have 50. We are one of three seed fairs left we know of in North America.” Putting dealers together with farmers is the name of the game, and the hallmark of a successful Ag. Expo and Seed Fair, said Kryzanowski. “People are here to make deals, and it is one-stop shopping,” he stated. “What we see is a lot of handshake deals and a lot of free dinners behind the scenes. There are hotel rooms booked, shopping going on in town and people spending money on things like gas. There is a huge economic impact on the local economy from this show.” For company representatives coming to the Ag. Expo it is always high stakes, and worth every complimentary pen, flashlight or keychain handed out, and every handshake exchanged. “The Lethbridge show is a phenomenal show,” said Sean Thomas of Best Farming Systems, whose company sells TM Ag soil ameliorant. “We have been here for years, and there is great people and a great farming community around it. It is one of the places in Alberta where we have a fairly large presence, and we know we will continue to be here every year.” For some exhibitors, the Lethbridge Ag. Expo and Seed Fair was an opportunity to pitch new products and find new customers. But for Southern Irrigation’s Lethbridge branch manager Marc Jongerden the expo was mainly about building on existing relations his company has established since setting up in the region. “It’s important for us to be here because our local clientele is here,” he said. “It is important to touch base with them.” Barry Bucis, who farms in Saskatchewan, was one of the first through the doors when the Ag. Expo and See Fair opened on Feb. 28. In many ways he represented the clientele all the exhibitors were interested in reaching during the three days of the showcase— an active farmer who is engaged in seeking out new products, shopping for good prices and enthusiastic about all the expo has to offer. Bucis gave this year’s expo two thumbs up. “It’s probably one of the best ones out there,” he said matter-of-factly. “There is lots of space to roam around, and friendly people. The weather is always nicer when I come this way in March. I like the seed displays, but there are lots of interesting things to see.”

Photos by Tim Kalinowski
Lots of coming and going, dealmaking going on at the Lethbridge Ag. Expo and Seed Fair Feb. 28-Mar. 3.
Shauna Sereda of 20/20 SeedLab Inc. was talking by germination and vigour at the Ag. Expo in Lethbridge.
Meeting new clients and greeting old was the name of the game for many at the Ag. Expo and Seed Fair, including the team from South Country Co-op.