'Take that word out': Antique tractor owners say end of display takes 'progress' out of Farm Progress
With the close of this year’s Farm Progress Show on Friday, a longtime part of the show is also coming to a close: the antique tractor display.
Word the display was coming to an end at Farm Progress first came out this spring, but after lobbying the show allowed them one more year.
The Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) states the discontinuation is part of a plan to take the show in a new direction.
Lloyd Wolfe has brought his vintage tractors and trucks for display at the show for the last 18 years, and says the display is a key part of the show for many visitors.
“This is going to be our final show,” said Wolfe. “We’re really appreciative that we got the extra show, but we’d like to see it continue in the future. It just seems to really fit the Progress Show.”
“We think that word ‘progress’ that’s in the Farm Progress Show, we think the word progress is from the antique tractors that you see here today to what we have in the new buildings and the new equipment,” Wolfe said. “I think if we’re not going to be involved anymore I think they should take that word progress out of that show name and it should be just called ’Farm Show’.”
In a written statement to CTV News, REAL said the show is moving more from a consumer show to a “business-to-business show” with an innovation focus.
“We know that our exhibitors are looking for qualified, active buyers when it comes to the type of attendance that comes through the door and that is what we’ll focus on with our programming moving forward,” the statement says.
REAL adds the exhibitors are invited to the Queen City Ex, where they say a “larger agricultural theme” will be included.
But Wolfe is skeptical about whether the tractors would become an integral part at the Ex like they’ve been at Farm Progress.
“I don’t think antique tractors fit that,” Wolfe told CTV News. “It’s a different crowd that come to the Exhibition, young families with kids going on the rides and I really don’t think they’re going to be interested in seeing a bunch of old tractors.”
The tractor owners have been gathering signatures for a petition throughout this year’s show, which as of the show’s end had garnered hundreds of signatures.
“I hope they’ll have a change of heart and allow us to be here. I think we’re an integral part of the show.”