It was ‘Learn to do by doing’ that made the 2021 BC Ag Expo at the fairgrounds in Barriere a successful in-person event. With a new fair software package , new office personnel, and all the COVID 19 Public Health orders to follow, it was a learning to do by doing kind of a year.
“We are so grateful to all of our committee members and volunteers that worked so hard to pull off this in-person event,” said Evelyn Pilatzke, BC Ag Expo President. “Our game plan had to change several times. The 2020 BC Ag Expo was virtual and was successful, but the message we got back was that everyone wanted 2021 to be in-person, so we made the decision early on to do everything that we could to make sure we could deliver it. And once the Province moved to Phase 3 it looked like we would be able to with very little modifications.”
However, that all changed when the new restrictions for Interior Health Region were introduced in August. Which meant Pilatzke and her committee had to once more put plans into place that would work with those new restrictions.
“Luckily the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo facility has many different barns and buildings that we could use to keep all our divisions separate and spaced out to keep everyone healthy.” said Pilatzke. “The sheep division moved to the heavy horse barns and showed in a tent, and the beef division moved all their stalling to outside and only used the Agriplex for their show ring to keep the numbers in the building down.”
Goat, rabbit, dog, horse and photography were all held in separate buildings and areas. They all had to ensure that class sizes were limited, and the flow of contestants ensured social distancing.
“Sadly, we had to restrict access to participants and their immediate family only to make sure we complied with size restrictions.,” added Pilatzke, “No one complained, everyone was just so happy to be back to an in-person fair and to have something of their pre-pandemic life back.
“None of this would have been possible without the financial support from the Province’s Community Gaming Grants and our many wonderful sponsors who year after year donate money or goods and services to ensure that we are able to provide this event for our 4-H youth and the agricultural community.”
The BC AG Expo Live Auction held on the Monday proved to be a fantastic success.
Some of the high sellers in the beef division included:
Aubree Higgins, from Four Corners 4-H, 1470 lb Grand Champion Market Steer sold to Higgins Logging for $4 a pound.
Amanda McGillivray, from Tod Mountain 4-H, sold her 1505 lb Reserve Grand Champion for $4 a pound to Comazzetto & Assoc. BMO Nesbitt Burns.
Open Youth Reid Cox’s 1485 lb Market Steer received $4 a pound also from Stites Consulting.
Some of the super high sellers in the market lamb division included:
Brydee Lee Brady, of Tod Mountain 4-H, sold her Market Lamb to A&T Project Developments for $1300.
Justin Smailes, of South Thompson 4-H, had his lamb sell for $1100 with Interior Plumbing & Heating getting the winning bid.
But it was the Open Youth Dax Bouwmeester lamb going for $3100 to Corshee Holdings that excited everyone. And following close on his heels was Kees Bouwmeester with $3050 for his Market Lamb also selling to Corshee Holdings.
The photo division was very well supported with Lexi Kerslake of Yellowhead 4-H getting $600 for her sale photo from Interior Plumbing & Heating.
“Thank you to all of the people and business that purchased or bid at the auction, your support was fantastic and truly appreciated,” said Pilatzke.
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