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Brandon Cattle Show Provides Hope For Industry

Manitoba Ag Ex, the province's largest all-breeds cattle show, gets underway Wednesday in Brandon.

Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler talked about the importance of the event, after it was cancelled last year due to COVID.

"Mental health is really what it's all about," he said. "We need that hope in the window. Sure we've come through some tough times, but I've got to say the board just was tenacious. They were so resilient when it came to putting this fair on and we're going to do it and do it in a safe way and a sustainable way. It's going to show Manitoba is open for business."

Scott Baron runs Hidden Lake Stock Farm in Carberry, MB. He's a barn boss at Manitoba Ag Ex and an exhibitor in the Charolais barn.

"If we didn't get this going it probably was going to be the last show for a lot of the old guys and it was probably going to kill the flame for a lot of the young guys," he explained. "This is where everything starts. This is the seed stock, this is the cream of the crop, this is where the genetics are starting. Our biggest customer is the commercial cattle guy that's going to look at our stock that we have here. Hopefully they can find themselves a bull or a female that will produce."

Baron commented on the state of the cattle industry.

"We're doing okay. It would sure be nice if we could get up a little higher to complete with the commodity markets right now," he said.

Feed supplies will be tight for Hidden Lake heading into winter.

"We were lucky," added Baron. "We have some pretty good neighbours and we do have some access to irrigation so that did help. We are a lot more fortunate than some other people and it's pretty sad to hear the stories of what these people have to go through."

Manitoba Ag Ex takes place through Saturday at the Keystone Centre in Brandon.

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