Ag Days 2011 Set To Kick Off January 18

Ag Days organizers expect that Brandon’s Keystone Centre in Brandon will once again be packed with visitors this year. Manitoba’s largest farm show starts Tuesday Jan. 18 and ends Thurs. Jan. 20. Admission is free and organizers are promising a great event, with a strong lineup of speakers and exhibitors coming from all across North America.

Last year Ag Days attracted more than 36,000 people and this year the same number of visitors is expected, said Ag Days general manager Owen Beever. Hotels in Brandon are already booked to capacity, but Brandon Tourism is working closely with Ag Days to find accommodations for everyone who needs it.

Last year’s construction disruptions are no longer an issue, and for the most part the Ag Days format has returned to normal. One major change however is that the amphitheatre is no longer available for presentations. Beever explained that the roof is not up to code and because of this it cannot be used in the winter due to snow accumulation.

Presentations will now be held in the south end of the stadium, the same location as last year. Event organizers hope thick black curtains are sufficient enough for soundproofing. Acoustics and lighting should not be an issue.

More than 500 exhibitors will attend this year, along with the latest farm tools and technologies. Most tractor companies will be bringing with them there new engines that meet the Tier 4 emission standards, which will be a big draw for producers. As always company reps will be on hand to answer questions and provide the latest information on their products.

DIFFERENT FLAVOUR

Some presentations will have a different flavour this year, said Scott Day, Ag Days program coordinator. “We are very excited about this year’s show. We were able to turn up the amount of expertise with our speakers,” he said.

Some of the new speakers this year are Michael Krueger, Marilyn Smith and John Sauder.

Krueger is a popular farm radio personality along the border and in the north-west of the USA. His syndicated radio and television show,The Money Farm,is carried on 35 radio stations and six television stations. Day described him as the “Howard Stern of agricultural radio.” His presentation will be Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. in Theatre No. 1.

Smith is an alumnus of Second City Comedy Troupe. Her presentation, “How To Live to Be 100 &Remember Your Name,” is all about leading a healthy lifestyle. It will be on Tuesday at 11:00 in Theatre No. 1. “I have heard from people that have seen her speak and they have said she is just excellent,” said Day.

Sauder, meteorologist from CBC Winnipeg, will hold a discussion about what’s on everybody’s mind all the time; the weather. “Our wacky world of weather” will begin at 2:30 p.m. in Theatre No. 1 on Wednesday.

As in the past couple of years, more than 400 students will be taking the day off school and heading down to the Keystone Centre to learn all about the world of agriculture. The program that the students participate in is run by Agriculture in the Classroom. It allows students in Grades 7 and 8 to develop their knowledge of agriculture through interactive displays and presentations.

Ag Days starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. on all three days, January 18th, 19th and 20th. For more information on exhibitors, speakers and times, go to www.agdays.com.

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