What had been halved in years past is now returning to its full potential! The 37th Annual Brokenhead River Agricultural Conference is coming February 6th and 7th, once again planned as a two-day event!
Terry Buss, crop production extension specialist with Manitoba Agriculture who partners with the Brokenhead Agricultural Society, shares that this event has been running since 1986.
Buss is pleased at the return of the two-day length, putting particular emphasis on the chance to focus on separate topics each day.
“This year, there’s enough support for the event that we can split those out,” Buss states. “And so Tuesday is our forage and beef focus, and Wednesday is the grain production focus. It provides a lot more value to the producer client, because now we can go deep on both topics. Which has allowed for a lot more speakers covering a lot more areas. It’s now a financially feasible thing to do.”
He also quotes Livestock and Forage Extension Specialist Kristen Bouchard-Teasdale as another supporting factor. Bouchard-Teasdale works out of the Beausejour office, supporting the southeast alongside the Manitoba Ag personnel. Buss says that this support gave the Conference the bench strength to develop the size of the show.
To date, the trade show portion is set to include over 70 plus registered displays with a good split on both days.
“One big value for both the industry and for the producer is that they have a chance to interact with the industry suppliers that they do business with in a much more casual atmosphere than some of the really big events in the province.” Buss continues. “You can see a lot of the suppliers you deal with, but in a much less crowded and hectic manner, which leads to some really good conversations, and a real opportunity to explore what they have to offer.”
The speaker lineup is very strong this year, with Doctor Bart Lardner and Doctor Tim Nickel sharing the spotlight on Tuesday.
Doctor Lardner is a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and a cowboy, and will be speaking on the evaluation of forage systems, with emphasis on how different systems impact biomass, soil and water parameters, and animal grazing preference.
Doctor Tim Nickel hails from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health in Alberta. His topic is pain control for cows during calving.
Wednesday’s guest speaker is Doctor Danny Blair, Co-Director of the Prairie Climate Center at the University of Winnipeg, sharing on climate change and the projected effects for the coming decades.
“You can just look outside and see what kind of weather we’re having, and how strange it is,” Buss says. “I think it’s really timely that Danny comes out and speaks on this topic.”
Additional industry expert topics include:
- Perennial grains
- Farm research by Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives
- Risk management
- Building resilient soil & holistic management
- Regenerative agriculture
- Verticillium wilt & canola diseases
- Soil salinity & compaction
- The Sustainable Agriculture Manitoba Program and its funding for producers
- Cost of production
- Soybean production review
… and so much more. Speakers are both provincially and internationally recognized, making this quite the event for little Beausejour and Brokenhead.
Beyond the trade show and the speaker lineup, are the door prizes! Prize items of note are a diesel space heater valued at $2250 from Leo’s Sales & Service and a deep fryer, 16 liters of canola oil for the deep fryer, and free farm pickup for a load of canola, all from Bunge. This package is valued between $800 and $1000.
“All of the suppliers are very generous with their door prizes,” Buss proudly states.
Guests can also indulge in a hot lunch provided by Blue Haze BBQ.
“It’s not just cheese sandwiches and mushroom soup!” Buss jokes. “Blue Haze BBQ does a wonderful job, and frankly the $20 cost of admission gives you value just in the meal alone. But all of this comes along with that whole package.”
Listening to him speak about all this event has to offer, one can tell that Buss is very proud of both the Society and the event.
“I’m very proud of the Brokenhead Agricultural Society. Like, I’m getting paid!” Buss laughs. “Those people are volunteers, and they put in a huge amount of hours for this. I’m proud that the Ag Society and our community can host this type of event. We’re not a big community. Not a whole lot happens up here- we’re kind of on the edge of the Prairie Bowl as well as the Red River Valley. But we pull it off. People are excited about doing this for the community, and the
community shows up every year to support it. It’s just a great formula for success. It’s a heck of a lot of fun, and I consider myself very fortunate to be involved in it.”
The 37th Annual Brokenhead River Agricultural Conference happens February 6th and 7th in Beausejour. For more information, visit www.brokenheadag.ca, or call Terry Buss at 204-266-2061.