Manitoba Ag Ex is on the grow.
The former Manitoba Livestock Expo has added the Manitoba Finals Rodeo and partnered with two cattle shows to make it a bigger and better attraction, according to organizers.
“This year we have worked with the Manitoba Rodeo Cowboys Association and its equine partner groups and we have added a lot to the draw of the show,” said Ron Kristjansson, general manager of the Provincial Exhibition of Manitoba. “We have also attracted the Western National Hereford Show and Sale and the National Limousin Show and Sale, and that probably brings about 20 to 25 additional ranches that will bring their cattle to the show.”
The Canadian National Limousin Show has previously been held in conjunction with Ag Ex, but not since 2012 and this will be the first time the Western Canadian Hereford Show has been held outside of Edmonton.
“We are expecting somewhere around 700 head of cattle, so that will be about a 10 to 15 per cent increase to what we have had over the past few years,” Kristjansson said. “We have seen fairly steady growth in recent years, but now with these national shows being added to our event we expect to see a fair jump in both participants and attendees.”
In addition, Ag Ex organizers have partnered up with other organizations to run a number of new attractions, including the Manitoba Rodeo Finals, Manitoba Superhorse 50/50, NAERIC Barrels of Cash, Hagan Performance & Ranch Horses, Fall Classic Ranch Sorting, and the Manitoba Bucking Stock Futurity.
Kristjansson explains this expansion is something the Provincial Exhibition has been looking at for a number of years.
“Two years ago we rebranded from Manitoba Livestock Expo to Manitoba Ag Ex with the plan in mind to expand the show and fit all aspects of agriculture and this was the next logical step, to expand with our rodeo and equine partners and see what develops from there,” Kristjansson said. “These groups are no strangers to each other, so the amalgamation… isn’t a stretch by any means.”
In previous years the Livestock Export and Finals Rodeo had been held at the same facility, just weeks apart.
He adds that a number of other industry groups has also expressed interest in participating in the future.
“I think that this is really going to be a year of growth and a learning year for us and I can only see it getting more exciting going forward in the next few years,” Kristjansson said.
Ag Ex will run from October 26 to 29 in Brandon at the Keystone Centre, and along with the cattle and equine shows and sales, the event will also host a trade show and its annual ‘Taste of Beef’ luncheon.
“Brandon is obviously a very strong agriculture-oriented town and has a lot of businesses that are ag oriented or ag supporters and this luncheon gives them a chance to come out and kick things off for our event. It is also a really great networking opportunity,” Kristjansson said.
For more information on the event, visit the Manitoba Ag Ex website.