OLDS — Organizers are already beginning to plan next year’s edition of AgSmart, Olds College’s agriculture technology expo.
The purpose of AgSmart is to showcase not only agriculture and agricultural equipment in general, but what’s new in the industry and where it’s likely to go in the future as well as how producers can best increase productivity and their profits.
AgSmart 2021, held Aug. 9-11, was a great success, says event co-manager Stacy Felkar.
It was kicked off with a digital plenary event on the evening of Aug. 9 which served as a way for those who were unable to be on-site for the two-day outdoor event to still access some of its content via various videos.
The outdoor event, held Aug. 10-11, took place on the college’s Smart Farm at the south end of the campus.
Felkar says about 2,050 people attended the show, up slightly from 2,034 during the inaugural event in 2019.
The outdoor version featured more than 100 exhibitors, an increase of 30 per cent from the 2019 event. AgSmart 2020 was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
“We are very excited with being able to proceed with AgSmart 2021 after not being able to host a live event in 2020,” Felkar said in a news release.
The show featured 50 educational sessions from industry experts covering everything from technological advancements in beef production to precision harvesting and using data and imagery on-farm.
Displays and talks centred on new technology for equipment and livestock as well as talks on everything from transitioning to a low carbon economy and tips on how to handle farm stress.
For example, a Calgary-based company showcased a product that can enable producers to literally make money from manure.
And a rep from a British Columbia-based firm showcased its latest facial and body recognition software to help producers identify and keep track of livestock.
Felkar says another attraction was a barbecue. She says initial planning suggests more social events may be held as part of the show next year.
More than 68 volunteers helped run the expo.
In upcoming weeks, watch for The Albertan's series on THE FUTURE OF FARMING, a look at advancements in the industry.