The Erika’s, along with their husbands, embarked on a road trip! Destination: ‘Agribition’ held in Regina, Saskatchewan. Agribition is a very large Farm/Ranch/Cattle Show, which has machinery and cattle trade shows, purebred and commercial cattle shows, rodeo, horse events, shopping, etc.
I love driving through western Canada and seeing the diverse landscapes. Starting in southern central British Columbia with the rolling grasslands and forests, then into the Rockie Mountains. I always enjoy pulling out of the Rockies and seeing the sky open up into the Alberta Foothills. We toured through a beautiful area in Southwest Saskatchewan near the town of Eastend, which I had never been.
The pure bred show cattle are immaculately groomed. I snapped a picture of this bull to try and capture his enormous size (you can just see the cap of the man walking behind him)! This bull was the Grand Champion Simmental Bull from High Country Cattle Services. (Thanks Deanne Young for this info!)
A class of cattle are put together by first being the same sex and breed and then by age. As a spectator it is good practice to judge the animals, then when the official judge places the class you can compare how you did. This was a class of Hereford bulls. On the other side of the ring was the Charolais show.
The pure bred show cattle are on display in several huge barns, grouped by their bred. In long alleys, all indoor, the exhibitors display their cattle. They often have a ‘home away from home’ there (table and chairs, soup in crockpots) as this is where they live for the week, have information on their farm/ranch, catalogs on cattle, information on their sales, etc. Every evening after the days’ purebred shows are complete, the cattle are ‘Tied Out’. This is where all these cattle (this year there were 1864 of them) are each lead outside to a bedded area for the night. It is healthier for them to be outside for the night in their natural environment. Also this is done for safety, as the inside displays are not as secure and need full daytime supervision. Here is a short video I took of the cattle being led outside. Every breeder and animal has a specific spot they go to.
Commercial cattle are also on display at Agribition. Ranches bring pens of 5 and 10 commercial heifer calves and bred heifers. These animals also show against each other in their respective age groups and are judged, then sold the following day. Also in this barn are ‘Groups of 3 Bulls’. This is where a breeder puts together a matched set (weight, size, comformation) of 3 yearling bulls. It is good advertising for the breeder and ranchers may purchase the group as this will translate into an even calf crop. Below is a picture of a group of heifer calves being judged.
Each day at Agribition has a certain breed show. Angus showed on Wednesday and Hereford on Thursday. The ‘Supreme Show’ is held on Saturday and is when all the champions, regardless of breed, show against each other. This was something to see as there were something like 48 females and 36 males in the ring at once. This requires very well behaved cattle and talented show people. Here is some pictures below.
We had a great holiday. We enjoyed visiting with fellow ranchers and people in the cattle and farming industry. I was stopped out of the blue by a fellow from Manitoba who is a reader of this blog and recognized me. One is reminded how small the agriculture industry is as somehow there was a connection to many people we talked to.