“We’re travelling across Western Canada through the prairie provinces,” said Liz Hernandez of Thunderstruck Ag Equipment. “We started in Manitoba, then we went to Alberta, and now we’re in Saskatchewan. Assiniboia was our first stop in Saskatchewan,” Hernandez added.
Thunderstruck’s Thanks for Farming Tour convened in the Prince of Wales Cultural and Recreation Centre at 201 Third Avenue West on Friday, July 24.
The show in the curling rink and the Conexus auditorium started at 11-3 p.m. and continued in the afternoon from 4-8 p.m. with meal breaks.
“We usually have a lot more people than this,” said Jeremy Matuszewski, President and Sales Manager for Thunderstruck. “So far, there’s been 15 no-shows. Still, it’s been a good day. Eight farmers showed up,” Matuszewski explained, as he described the turnout during the early part of the afternoon.
“We anticipated the numbers would be down because of the outbreak,” Matuszewski said, as he further potrayed the begining of the Saskatchewan leg of their tour. Extra Saskatchewan dates for Thunderstruck’s Thanks for Farming Tour included Craik, (July 27) and North Battleford (July 29).
Overall, the tour through the Canadian Prairies had been a positive experience for Matuszewski and his team, despite having to manage this on-the-road event during a pandemic, where sanitizing protocols and social distancing measures were included.
“Alberta and Manitoba were both really good,” Matuszewski noted, depicting the tour before it had reached Assiniboia.
The tour included a presentation of innovative agricultural equipment arranged in the curling rink.
Also, Lesley Kelly from Watrous spoke on the emotional pressures encountered by producers in the auditorium.
“My talk was on mental health and stress in agriculture,” Kelly said.
Kelly is a member of the board for The Do More Agricultural Foundation, a non-profit focussing on mental health across Canada. “Do More in Agriculture is a non-profit, and they’re champions of mental health for our farmers,” Kelly emphasized
Kelly writes a blog titled High Heels and Canola Fields. She’s also a co-host with Rob Sharkey in the What The Farm podcast, which delves into topics regarding food production and the agricultural industry’s relationship with consumerism.
In addition, Warren Ward of the Canola Council – an agronomy specialist from Yorkton – gave a lecture on plant diseases affecting canola.
Thunderstruck Ag Equipment brought a much-needed cash infusion for local businesses, with Fresh Star catering the food at the day-long event. 121 Steakhouse provided the beer for the tour.
Moreover, Thunderstruck Ag Equipment presented a $1000 donation to the Rockglen 4-H club on Friday.