Weyburn Ag Society has successful year, needs volunteers

The Weyburn Agricultural Society saw an improved financial picture from the past year, and hopes for more of the same in 2020, but they are in need of more volunteers for board positions and on committees, the group’s annual meeting heard on Tuesday evening.

President Clay Schira is remaining in that position for the coming year with first vice-president Melissa Carson, but there is no second vice-president, who would move up to president in succession after Carson.

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“It’s amazing to me how hard everybody works around here. It blows my mind, and lots of you people put in way more time than I do,” said Schira in his report. “We should be very proud of what we’ve accomplished with the economy the way it.”

The Fair dates for 2020 were set and approved by the board members, as it will run from June 28 to July 4, for a similar length of time as in 2019. It was noted the Weyburn Comp’s graduation is on June 27, but members felt this shouldn’t hurt the startup of the Fair the next day.

The dates for the Interclub 4-H show were not set at the annual meeting, as there were some suggestions to bump the 4-H show by a day so the big sale isn’t on July 1. There wasn’t agreement on this move, so those dates will be decided on after coordinator Bev Gordon meets with the 4-H leaders.

In the reports on the Fair, the numbers were fairly good for the 2019 event. The chuckwagon races had about 1,200 attend, which is down a bit for the races held as a stand-alone event. The $2 Thursday for the Fair brought in 1,500 people, and the Fair from Thursday to Saturday saw 3,800 people take in the rides and the rodeo.

For the 4-H Interclub show and sale, there were 180 members from nine 4-H clubs, with 174 steers in the fed calf show and sale, with 84 heifer projects and 23 cow-calf pairs.

The Rumble in the Ring demo derby, held on the last night of the Fair, only had nine cars for the rumble and four mini-vans for the first-ever Mini-Van Mash, which organizer Tyler Metheral called a “huge success”, along with seven lawn mower races. A Fall Brawl demo derby was also held on Sept. 7, with 19 cars, five trucks and six mower racers. About $2,500 was made in spite of the rainy weather that day.

The fourth annual Flavours of Fall event was held, and the date was moved away from Thanksgiving weekend, with an increased vendor interest as a result and an attendance of around 800 people.

In the financial report, presented by Reed Anderson of MNP, the Weyburn Fair had a total revenue of $126,973, which is up about $19,000 from the year before, and expenses were also up to $98,762, with a profit of $28,211, down by about $8,000 from the year before.

Revenues from other events, such as the rodeo, Flavours of Fall, chuckwagons and smoker competition, totaled $147,206, down about $9,000 from the year before, but expenses were $80,897, which is down by about $14,000 from 2018, which made for a higher profit of $66,309, up from $61,977 in 2018.

In the Ag Society’s general operations, the revenues were up by about $19,000 from the year before, with some major cattle shows helping to bump up the rent revenues for the society, and expenses were also down, some items significantly down, such as the expenses for repairs and maintenance.

With a much lower deficiency of revenue over expenses, Anderson commented, “That’s very significant and very good to see. It’s a very significant improvement in the cash position.”

The overall combined revenues for everything on the year totaled $356,452, which is up by $28,000 from the year before, with expenses totaling $366,614. This was down by $14,000 from the year before, which Anderson noted was a significant difference, showing the Ag Society was a lot more efficient in their operations.

Looking to 2020, one of the major projects they will have to undertake is a major repair of the roof for the lobby of the curling rink.

The need for volunteers for the committees and the board was also a concern, and members discussed ways to find people who can fill some of those positions, in particular the gates committee.