On the heels of fall meetings, we had Agribition. The show was a big success for SCA this year as it was the launch point for our campaign to bring the ranch to the city through virtual reality videos. This was a hit with producers and consumers alike. SCA’s mandate is to promote and develop the beef cattle industry in Saskatchewan. One of the ways that is being done is sponsoring and taking part in Agribition. As a sponsor we supported the breed banners for the champions. Agribition is a premium stock show and it brings value to Saskatchewan producers to have this caliber of show right in the heart of our province. Other parts of our sponsorship included our booths, some advertising space on the back of the maps of the grounds and a video advertisement during the new pro rodeo.
Our booths were aimed in two directions. First was at producers. There is no opportunity as big as Agribition for visiting with cattle producers in Saskatchewan. Our board members and staff met with many old friends and new acquaintances during the show to discuss what is happening and what’s to come. I spent a lot of time walking through the barns and The Yards to hear directly from producers. Western Livestock Price Insurance was a common topic. Who triggered what and when? What could make the program better (mobile technology for starters) and the rebound in the market through November were common topics. The commercial sale was brisk too. The bred heifers started a little slow but heated up as the sale went on. The peak was $3950 per head for a pen of five. The average was in the low $2000s. Someone commented to me that a bred heifer should cost two calves. If you put a little Agribition premium in there then calves selling in late November were fitting that rule of thumb.
The other booth’s focus was consumers. Set up in the food pavilion, this is where we were showing the virtual ranch tour to young and old alike. People increasingly expect to find information about their food and where it comes from. We would love to be able to take everyone to ranches and farms to show them what goes on, but logistically, it just doesn’t work. Through the use of 360-degree cameras, we can take them and put them right on the ground and talk to them via headphones as they look around. With the positive feedback received, there is likely more to come on this front. It is another step toward transparency. The industry has always been transparent, just too far away. This is a step in shortening the distance.