Swift Cur­rent Ag and Ex re­flects on suc­cess­ful 2013, look­ing ahead to 2014

The Southwest Booster - - NEWS -

The man­date of Swift Cur­rent Ag & Ex is a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion with a man­date to pro­vide ser­vice to, and en­hance the life of res­i­dents of the com­mu­nity and the re­gion in the ar­eas of agri­cul­ture, en­ter­tain­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, sport and cul­ture. Any suc­cess­ful or­ga­ni­za­tion needs a strong foun­da­tion to build on year af­ter year. Through the ex­per­tise of all our vol­un­teers and staff we were able to hit a home run in 2013.

At­ten­dance at last year’s The Spring Home and Leisure Show was 3,823, which is about our three year aver­age, with the event maxed out with over 75 ex­hibitors.

The sec­ond an­nual Dis­cover the Farm plus the Poul­try and Ex­otic An­i­mal Sale at­tracted over 1,700 people. The goal of this project is to in­vite var­i­ous agri­cul­tural groups, par­tic­u­larly the ex­otic chick­ens, birds and other spe­cialty an­i­mals raised by lo­cal breed­ers into one site for school stu­dents and the pub­lic to learn, ob­serve, and in­ter­act. This project pro­vides learn­ing and work­ing en­vi­ron­ment con­nect­ing Swift Cur­rent and area ru­ral pro­duc­ers. Pub­lic in­ter­est in the pro­gram was strong and they were of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to ob­serve and learn about the grow­ing agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity.

The Egg & Ex Hatch­ing Pro­gram continues to grow with schools, and busi­ness’s book­ing the in­cu­ba­tors it’s a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for all ages. The Swift Cur­rent Ag & Ex re­ceived an in­ter­na­tional award: The Agri­cul­tural Award of Ex­cel­lence was awarded from the In­terna- tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Fairs and Ex­po­si­tions The Agri­cul­tural Award was re­ceived for the Dis­cover the Farm: a Farm Facts Ex­pe­ri­ence along with the Ag & Ex Hatch­ing School Pro­gram.

Fron­tier Days cel­e­brated its 75th An­niver­sary on June 27 – June 30. With the theme “Join the Ride”, Fron­tier Days was a clas­sic mix of tra­di­tion cel­e­brat­ing our Western ru­ral roots. With the af­ford­able gate ad­mis­sion of $5 for adults/ stu­dents and un­der 10 free, the board of di­rec­tors has con­tin­ued with the vi­sion that ev­ery day is a fam­ily day at Fron­tier Days. We were thrilled to present last years’ line up of free shows, ex­hibits and at­trac­tions of­fered to South­west Saskatchew­an and the res­i­dents of Swift Cur­rent. We topped our at­ten­dance at 26,104.

Doc’s Town is grow­ing each year with vis­i­tors. The Doc’s Town vol­un­teer com­mit­tee of­fers events each weekend in the sum­mer. Doc’s Town is open week­ends from June 1 un­til the Septem­ber long weekend. Tours are avail­able dur­ing the week upon re­quest. Events hosted through­out the sum­mer. Coun­try School Recita­tions, a Coun­try Dance An­tique Trac­tor Show, Down on the Farm, Made by Hand crafters, A Day at School weekend for the kids, Coun­try Church Hymn sing , Har­vest fes­ti­val fea­tur­ing a corn roast, scare­crow fes­ti­val and Sun­day Dance.

An­other ma­jor un­der­tak­ing in­volved re­pair­ing the roof to the Doc’s Town Air­men’s Bil­let. Fund­ing from the CIF Com­mu­nity Vi­tal­ity Pro­gram, City of Swift Cur­rent, Swift Cur­rent Ag & Ex and Doc’s Town Com­mit­tee made this a re­al­ity. The project re­placed the shin­gles on the Air­men’s Bil­let build­ing known as the H-hut. The ap­prox­i­mately 9000 square foot roof was leak­ing and needed to be re­paired be­fore more dam­age was done to the at­tic in­su­la­tion, ceil­ing, walls and hard­wood floors. The H-hut is one of the her­itage build­ings com­pris­ing Doc’s Town, within Ki­netic Ex­hi­bi­tion Park. The West Wing of the build­ing is used by Art Gallery of Swift Cur­rent for vis­ual art ex­hi­bi­tions by lo­cal and re­gional artists, in­clud­ing school art. The east wing of the build­ing con­tains her­itage dis­plays and is used for Doc’s Town pro­gram­ming. Additional rooms in the build­ing are used for stor­ing col­lec­tions of her­itage items do­nated by res­i­dents of Swift Cur­rent and district.

Ki­netic Ex­hi­bi­tion Park came alive Septem­ber 27- 29, 2013 with the Swift Cur­rent Agri­cul­tural and Ex­hi­bi­tion As­so­ci­a­tion host­ing the ‘ Young Ranch­man’s All Breeds Youth Live­stock Show’. This new ven­ture project was held in con­junc­tion with the ‘ Ranch­man’s Ridin’ and Recitin’, Young Ranch­man’s added a youth­ful flare to a weekend steeped with old West tra­di­tions. The Beef Pen Show, Heavy Horse Pull, Stock Dog Tri­als and the Ranch Horse Com­pe­ti­tions were a good mix of ac­tiv­i­ties for all ages and in­ter­ests to en­joy. Hooves and Feath­ers Show and Sale along with the Cow­boy Po­etry made for a fun filled weekend. The Young Ranch­man’s Show is an event open to all youth 21 years of age and un­der. Af­ter many months of plan­ning, 108 young Agri­cul­tural en­thu­si­ast gath­ered to­gether for three days of not only live­stock events, but also pub­lic speak­ing, art, pho­tog­ra­phy, team show judg­ing and most im­por­tantly net- work­ing and team build­ing. The overwhelmi­ng re­sponse to this show con­firmed the need to pro­vide an event that en­cour­ages our provin­cial youth to re­main in­volved in agri­cul­ture.

In Oc­to­ber we hosted our an­nual Vol­un­teer and Spon­sor­ship Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Sup­per with over 285 people in at­ten­dance, we are striv­ing to build and sus­tain our vol­un­teer base.

With pro­ceeds the Ag & Ex gen­er­ated from Fron­tier Days and the Home & Leisure Show we have been able to bring in a higher level of en­ter­tain­ment as well as as­sist with im­prov­ing fa­cil­i­ties at Ki­netic Park. The gen­erosi­ties of our spon­sors com­mu­nity sup­port al­low us to keep ex­pand­ing our ex­hi­bi­tion and work with the com­mu­nity to see it grow and pros­per, and we thank the City of Swift Cur­rent for their con­tin­ued feed­back, sup­port, and part­ner­ship. We part­nered with the City to re- tin one barn roof, re­pair hhut roof and a new sound sys­tem for the Stock­ade. The Live­stock Com­mit­tee has pur­chased a used build­ing to re­place the ex­ist­ing Live­stock Of­fice. This build­ing will be wel­comed at the fair and the Ranch­man’s Show.

In clos­ing our part­ner­ship with the City of Swift Cur­rent is go­ing well, and we are con­tin­u­ing to see lots of in­fra­struc­ture im­prove­ment at Ki­netic Park which al­lows us to con­cen­trate on our pro­gram­ming. We be­lieve our ef­forts in the past year have fur­thered our growth and po­ten­tial as an or­ga­ni­za­tion. This will not only help to strengthen us fi­nan­cially, but also put us in a bet­ter po­si­tion to ex­pand our com­mu­nity com­mit­ment.

We are look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing the City of Swift Cur­rent’s Cen­ten­nial Home­com­ing Cel­e­bra­tions June 26, 27, 28, 29. 2014. ‘ Sad­dle Up for the Ride of a Century’ and stay tuned for an­nounce­ments.

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