YORKTON - The 2022 edition of Grain Millers Harvest Showdown was officially kicked off Monday morning with the traditional ceremonial branding.
This year the branding iron was in the hands of two long-time Yorkton Exhibition Association directors and volunteers Bob and Kathy Rusnak.
“I was actually honoured to be asked to do it,” said Bob Rusnak, who had served as a YEA director for some 30 years. He said it was gratifying to be asked to ‘kick-off’ an event they had volunteered to help run for so many years.
Kathy Rusnak said it is just great to see Harvest Showdown back in full form after all the issues of COVID.
“It feels good for it to come back,” she said.
Yorkton Mayor Mitch Hippsley also took part in the ceremony at the Agripavilion Monday.
“It’s a real privilege to join you today,” he said, adding the importance of the farm sector is not lost on Yorkton Council. “Yorkton is agriculture. This is where it all started.”
Chamber President Marty Sveinbjornson said business also understands the importance of farming, and by extension Harvest Showdown, which he noted “brings a lot of people” to the city.
“There’s quite a buzz around town about it.”
Barb Woytas with the YEA, said things look great for the event which starts Wednesday and runs through Saturday.
For example, the cattle numbers are up for 2022.
“We have 13 pens on Breeders’ Alley, so that’s up from the past,” she said.
Once again, the Agri Pavilion will host FCC Breeders’ Alley, and also the Heartland Livestock Services Futurity Heifer Show and the Cornerstone Credit Union Commercial Cattle Show which features a variety of cattle breeds and top breeders from the local area.
And on the commercial side Woytas noted, “we’re just a few pens shy of a full barn.”
And don’t forget the Commercial Cattle Sale in the GX 94 sale ring.
Mosaic is also back supporting school tours.
“We have 1200 kids coming through over three days,” said Woytas, adding the Grade 4 and 7 students will have an opportunity to learn about food from field to table, with displays including cattle, horses, bees, alpacas, turkeys and farm technology.
Woytas said they understand there is a disconnect for many youth from farming and with the tours the YEA “will try to bridge that gap.”
A highlight of the 2022 event will again be Professional Bull Riding (PBR), with Mazergroup back as the highlight sponsor for two nights of action at the Westland Insurance Arena.
The PBR is an event both Bob and Kathy Rusnak pointed to as a favourite.
“It’s beast against man, one-on-one,” offered Bob Rusnak.
Immediately following PBR head on over to the Prairie Oyster Bar & Grill to dance the night away with Lenny & the Gypsies Friday night and The Otherz Band on Saturday.
For those liking the big horses; the Arena will also host the Newton Landscaping Chore Team Competition, as well as the Yorkton Tribal Council stock dog competition, J-Mack Sandblasting ranch rodeo, and the SaskTel Horse-Power Showcase featuring the Dave’s Diesel heavy horse pulls and Yorkton Hyundai mutton busting.
A Country Craft & Tradeshow located in the Flexihall will be open Thursday through Saturday so a little early Christmas season shopping will be possible.
The grain show is another returning highlight.
Stop by to see the Westland Insurance and SGI Commercial Grain Show, the Canterra Pedigreed Seed Show and the Maple Ag & Outdoor Forage Show where the top producers of each class are on display in the main lobby.
The Grain, Forage, and Pedigreed Seed Award Reception will be in the National Bank Financial Place. Followed by “Thirsty Thursday” down at the Prairie Oyster Bar & Grill with comedian Paul Myrehaug sponsored by AgraTactics.
People are also invited to skip breakfast to attend the Grain Millers Oatmeal Eating Contest on Friday.
Whether you’re young or old, from the country or the city, Harvest Showdown has something for everyone.
For further details regarding the Grain Millers Harvest Showdown, visit the website www.yorktonexhibition.com; follow us on our Facebook page, Yorkton Exhibition Association; or call the office at 306-783-4800.