Canada's Farm Progress Show Stories

Canada's Farm Progress Show Stories

Where have the years gone?

- Wilfred Wilger Exhibitor

Where have the years gone?  When I was approached at my display on “Machinery Row” at Buffalo Days in Regina in 1977 by early WCFPS scouts to see if I would support a new major farm show in Regina in June, I said yes!  Wilger industries Ltd. occupied outside space #1 for many years until inside space suited us better.  We had just started manufacturing field sprayers in 1976 so this show was ideal to promote a new product.  Now the sprayer isn’t always the favourite machine on the farm so displaying any other time of year seemed to cause farmers to see the name and product and make a big arch around the booth, but in June they were fully engaged in spraying on the farm and so interest in our products was at a prime level. I recall that attendance was huge those early years, with the main roadways between the displays packed with farmers making their rounds to see the large number of displays covering a huge area.  I’m sure that for most early attendees it was the biggest such event that they had experienced.  Often our display area had dozens of interested folks, many with questions, and it was hard to attend to them all.  Although we rarely made a sale at the show, as spraying season is winding down at that time of the year, the WCFPS was a major factor in our growth and success in the Western Canadian and even the US marketplace.

Spring was always an intensely busy time of year at the plant and little time was spent outside catching any of the sun’s rays.  The show changed that – three and a half days (it ran Thursday until 8:00 PM and Saturday until noon in the early years), usually in intense sunshine, sometimes interspersed with some heavy downpours, with no roof or shade, often causing a sunburn introduction to summer!  Now, of coarse, most show displays include all kinds of shade and shelter. But many of us still had the energy to check out Regina night life. Where have those days gone?