Grey Bruce Farmers’ Week History
Grey Bruce Farmers’ Week (GBFW) has been a main stay for the agricultural industry in Grey County since 1966. The featured commodities have changed as our agricultural focus has evolved, but the mandate to educate farmers and agribusiness has remained firm. The Trade Show is filled to capacity on most days.
Over the years, interest in the conference has continued to grow and our reach is extending well beyond our county borders. Most years there are about 1300 people in attendance over the course of the 7 day event. Typically, Crops Day accounts for 22% of the attendance, Beef Day, 22%, and Dairy Day, 20%. Typically, about ¾ of the audience are from Grey Bruce, and the remainder comes from outside that area. Interestingly, the latter number continues to grow.
2018, 2019, and 2020 marked exciting years of technological advancement. 2018 was the first year that GBFW live streamed all 7 days of this fantastic educational content to interested producers across the province and beyond our borders. Producers were able to watch the content live, and for several weeks following the event. Here’s an example of the Live Stream content https://youtu.be/sMRfmJv1sg8
The GBFW committee would like to thank the sponsors of this live stream initiative which have included: Trillium Mutual Insurance, BDO Canada LLP, Bruce Power, Hydro One and FCC.
In 2021, GBFW is going Virtual. It will be an 8 day agricultural conference featuring a program dedicated to each of the major commodity groups in Grey and Bruce counties and far beyond, plus, feature the exhibitors and sponsors on Trade Show Day. Everyone from anywhere is encouraged to check out and participate this incredible conference.
Since GBFW has been live streaming their conference for the past 3 years, going virtual is an easier pivot for them. They are confident that the new virtual delivery method of their educational content, will be a successful venture!
GBFW is co-ordinated by Grey County Agricultural Services in Markdale, with the outstanding support of the rural organizations (GBFW Committee) in Grey and Bruce counties. The current executive is:
Chair – Joanne Hughes
Past Chair – Mike Ryan
1st Vice Chair – Deb Campbell 2nd Vice Chair – Rob Kirkconnell
The GBFW committee would like to thank all of the volunteers that have assisted with set-up, tear down, deliveries, clean-up and registration in past years. The volunteers get a well deserved year off, as GBFW goes virtual in 2021. Rest up friends.
GBFW has an excellent track record of organizing well attended, informative conferences.
The event usually takes place in Elmwood Ontario, at the Elmwood Community Centre, located approximately 1 mile west of the flashing amber light. However, in 2021 the event will be presented online, and you can view it from the comfort of your office chair, sofa, tractor seat – you choose. Plus, January snowstorms will not affect this new online option!
There are approximately 65 speakers from across the province, Canada and the U.S. Plus, in 2021, the GBFW committee is excited to announce that they have booked a Sheep Day speaker from the UK, and another from New Zealand.
Each day includes a producer panel where producers can learn from their peers.
GBFW has an extremely loyal group of Sponsors who enthusiastically support our event. They have risen to the occasion to support GBFW as they move to this virtual platform. This support means a great deal as GBFW ventures into totally new territory. A huge thank you to all of those companies and organizations.
The GBFW Trade Show has been, and will continue to be a very important component of the virtual conference. Conference participants are encouraged to visit the Virtual Trade Show, see what each booth has to offer, and speak to the exhibitors during the daily 2 hour exhibitor showcase windows.
Anyone who has attended GBFW in the past knows that a highlight of each day is the scrumptious home style hot roast beef dinner. On Goat and Sheep Days, roast goat and roast lamb are also offered in addition to the roast beef. The amazing pies are simply incredible!
Sadly, the GBFW committee cannot offer these delectable meals during an online event. This hiatus will heighten our anticipation of these meals when we can safely return to our normal in-person event.