The Canadian Western Agribition is a staple of Regina’s identity. Every year, thousands of people travel to Regina to experience Canada’s largest cattle show. Agribition plays two distinct rolls, each of which is an integral part of the Greater Regina Area economy. On one hand, the show brings attendees from across Canada and the world, to experience all that Regina has to offer and is an annual entertainment touchstone for many. At the same time, Agribition is a global hub for the latest in technological and biological innovation, the impact of which spreads far beyond Saskatchewan’s borders. For the first time this year’s show included the newly constructed International Trade Centre, a massive 150,000 square foot facility designed for large events and conventions. Year after year the show puts Regina on the map, and 2018 was no different.
“Because we’re growing we’re open to new ideas all the time and that makes Agribition such a great place for innovation,” said Canadian Wester Agribition CEO Chris Lane. “Whether that’s online livestock sales, the latest in farm tech or the biggest and best farm machinery at our tradeshow, and we’re doing it all in a brand-new world class facility that matches our world class show.”
By the Numbers
Each year the sheer size and scope of Agribition seems to swell. This year, more than 150 different events took place drawing more than 125,000 attendees from around the world. In fact, event-goers represented 70 different countries. As has been the case with the myriad of major events Regina has hosted in 2018, these attendees flocked to local businesses and filled hotel rooms in addition to their spending at the event itself. All told, Agribition generates approximately a staggering $73.6M in economic impact.
New Education Opportunities
This year Agribition featured brand new workshops including a seminar on mental health. The session aimed to address mental health issues among producers, an often-overlooked group. Also new this year was the addition of the Agri-Preneurship workshop, a networking event designed to connect producers with other entrepreneurs and business students. The event featured a panel of distinguished speakers including Murad Al-Katib and Moni Minhas of Minhas Distilleries (which recently opened a new facility in Regina).
Investing in the Next Generation
Another new addition to this year’s event was the launch of Next Gen Agriculture, a joint federal and provincial agriculture mentorship program that will be delivered by the CWA. The program includes $100,000 in funding over the next five years, that will allow the CWA to support and train young leaders in the agriculture sector. The goal is to align young, driven applicants with leadership rolls and continue the wave of innovation which has defined the industry in Saskatchewan over the past decade.
“We have many skilled, confident leaders ready to take on leadership roles and get involved in decisions affecting our industry,” said Federal Agriculture Minister David Marit. “This program will support, engage and train these young people as they prepare to fill vacancies on industry organizations, boards and commissions.”
Regina Feeds the World
Agribition continues to be a major contributor to the GRA economy, and a hotbed for opportunity and innovation. Along with initiatives like Protein Industries Canada, the show enhances the GRA’s position as a true world leader in agriculture, an industry which has become increasingly essential in the wake of global hunger and a growing population. With the technological, agricultural, and manufacturing chops necessary to meet the increasing demand for accessible food, Regina is ready to feed the world.