Drayton Kinsmen Farm Show showcases rural Ontario agri-business

The 34th annual Drayton Farm Show, sponsored by the Drayton Kinsmen, is ready to open its doors to farmers, agri-business and the general public.

The focus of the show is on service, innovation and technology, but it is a show that has something for everyone.

Last year’s event attracted  over 3,200 people and Kinsmen show chair Kevin Van Loo said the club is looking to match or exceed those numbers in 2015.

“The snow is melting  and  the  temperatures  are warmer but the farmers won’t be on the fields, so the turnout should be good,” said Van Loo.

The two-day event takes place at the PMD arena in Drayton on April 1 and 2.  The hours of the 2015 show have been adjusted slightly and there has been an increase in the admission. April 1 hours are 11am to 10pm and on April 2 the hours are 11am to 9pm. The  admission increases  to $5, with $2.50 designated to Cystic Fibrosis Research.

Organizers credit the success of the show to its roots and that the show remains focused on being rural Ontario’s agribusiness showcase.

The impact on economic development within the community and surrounding areas, encourages support for local businesses.

“It’s a farming community and the exhibitors are pretty good. Most people know the exhibitors,” said Van Loo, commenting on the show’s ongoing popularity.

Over 100 exhibits will be on display at the show. There will be a wide range of products and services, bringing innovation and technology to the agricultural industry. Van Loo expected most of the regular exhibitors to be back for 2015. This year, the Drayton Kinsmen will be doing something new by having a display about the club at booth 85.

“The show is not just for farmers. There are displays, information booths and educational opportunities for everyone.  Town people can also buy almost anything they need,” Van Loo noted.

The family-friendly show welcomes all ages. The traditional  bags of popcorn, stickers, pads of writing paper, pens and candy are always crowd pleasers. Members of the Drayton medical team will be  available to do blood pressure checks and answer questions related to dietary needs.  Outside of the building, large farm equipment will be on display.

Van Loo noted the show provides opportunities for other local groups to raise funds. Drayton Minor Hockey Association runs the food booth. Local Girl Guides will be selling their popular cookies during the show.

This year’s collectible toy tractor, a unique show tradition, is a customized 1/16th model, 4 wheel drive (4WD), International 1066. Orders will be taken, as quantities are limited.

The Drayton Kinsmen, organizers of the show, include members that are farmers or are active in some aspect of agriculture. The show is run completely by volunteers. High school students man the admission table, earning a part of their volunteer hours required before completion of high school.

Half of the $5 admission fee goes to Cystic Fibrosis Research, a cause the Kinsmen work nationally to support. The remainder goes back into the community.

Van Loo said, “The club members have been working hard  behind the scenes preparing for the show and it is now ready to go. All we need now is the people to come out and enjoy what we have to offer.”

With files from Patrick Raftis