Weyburn Agricultural Society reflects on challenging year, looks for new chair

The Weyburn Agricultural Society had a challenging year in 2020, as reported during their virtual annual general meeting held on February 23. Most of the events planned for the Ag Society had to be cancelled last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions that were put into place by the province in March 2020.

“Fortunately, the Agricultural Society was able to access some of the relief funding in order to maintain our services,” said Clayton Schira, in his last president’s report that was written before he stepped down from the role.

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As there were no nominations to name a new chair for the Weyburn Agricultural Society, TJ Metheral will be serving as chair in an interim capacity, with assistance from Jeff Clay. Both Metheral and Clay noted that they aim to only serve in the interim for six months, and hope that volunteers from the community come forward to sit in the president, first vice president and second vice president roles.

The Weyburn Agricultural Society set the dates of July 5to 10 for the 2021 Weyburn Fair, however board members noted that if COVID-19 restrictions continue, a Weyburn Fair would not be possible to be held again this year. The 4-H portion of the Weyburn Fair would be July 5, 6 and 7, and the midway portion of the Weyburn Fair would be July 8, 9 and 10.

The Weyburn Agricultural Society board was also cautious in setting any dates for the Souris River Rodeo. The Agricultural Society board will wait for further clarification from the Canadian Cowboys Association, before setting a date.

Due to the limited events for the Weyburn Agricultural Society in 2020, the organization had a Notice to Reader completed from MNP Chartered Professional Accountants, instead of a full audit. It was a $10,000 savings for the Agricultural Society to do the review in this form, as the organization did not have their regular events or operations that would have required an audit.

A cash flow statement is not analyzed in a Notice of Reader, but based off estimates from the Agricultural Society board members, the organization was down approximately $20,000. It was noted that the organization would have easily made money, if the Weyburn Fair had been held in 2020.

The Agricultural Society also changed their bursary award to a scholarship, so that applications would be easier for community members to apply for. As a bursary, applicants were required to submit personal financial information, as it is based off financial need. A scholarship is usually based off academic performance, and the scholarship committee will review the requirements for the award.

Shayla Moore was the recipient of the 2020 Agricultural Society Bursary.