One of the goals of New Farm Development Initiative is connect new farmers in the region with training oportunities and knowledgeable mentors. As part of this goal, we offer support to new farm correspondents who wish to travel to major agriculture industry events. These correspondents assist us in linking to information and contacts available in other regions and provide valuable insight into the value of attending such events.
My name is Tessa Young. My husband Matt and I, along with our daughter Elliana moved to Prince George with big dreams of farming. This last spring we were able to buy a small farm and finally start making our dreams a reality. This summer we made hay and raised pork. Along with that we have a small flock of laying hens and two horses. We are loving this life and way of raising our family. Our dream is to make our farm a reliable business and farm full time at home. We headed to the Pacific Agriculture show looking for more information on starting our farm, including all the practical details we still need to learn so much about.
Friday, Day 1 at the Pacific Agriculture Show:
We headed out to the Pacific Ag Show on Friday morning, not entirely sure what to expect but excited. It was held in Abbotsford at the Tradex, and with warm temperatures and the sun just peeking out, it looked to be a very promising day. I was hoping to find useful information about starting our little farm, seed catalogues to take home and other resources. Matt was just itching to see the tractors! Neither of us were disappointed.
Three steps away from the car, the fun began. Matt’s first words were “Wow! See that tractor. That is a Fendt, spelled F-E-N-D-T, German made, pretty much the Cadillac of Tractors! See how wide the front tires are on this one, and check out the joystick on that one.” That pretty much set the tone for the first day. We explored every tractor, comparing loaders, interiors, controls, screens, hitch assemblies and more. At one point we noticed it was only us and small children that were enthusiastically climbing into every tractor, but we didn’t mind.
Between tractors we made a lap checking out all the booths and what they had to offer. This is where I started gathering my information. By the end off the day I was afraid my bag was going to split it was so heavy with publications, seed catalogues, magazines and other useful and interesting information. We found lots of people to talk to as well, with experiences everywhere from farm taxes and environmental plans to robot milkers and falconry. The first day was quite an experience and we were excited to go back for more.
Saturday, Day 2 at the Pacific Agriculture Show
Because we loaded up with as much as we could carry the day before, we aimed to have a lighter day on Saturday. We planned to look into all the things we wanted more information on, after having a chance to look through all the goodies from the previous day, and since we were bringing some family with us, we decided it would be a bit more of a social day too. We thought it might be a shorter day, since we were bringing our two year old daughter along. As it turns out, we could stay as long as we wanted; we got an energy buzz from a really cool tractor calendar, and she got the same off all the free candy.
Saturday was a much busier day at the show but it was quiet first thing in the morning. I was able to check out some neat booths that were crowded the day before. The most interesting to me was the Raptor Ridge Birds of Prey. They had some owls at the booth that you could meet up close. In the quiet of the morning I was able to talk to the trainer and learn some really neat things about owl biology and behaviour. We were able to get a good look at the robot milking booth which was also very interesting. Our daughter just loved the petting zoo and I couldn’t resist the frisky little goat kids either. Later in the day, we were able to meet up with people we knew – me with old 4-H friends and Matt with a friend who has helped us buy and work on our tractor. Matt was able to go around and price out different loader options, which was really useful, and we asked more questions based on the previous day’s experience. By the end of the day we both felt like we had gotten everything we had hoped for out of the Pacific Agriculture Show.