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