June 16th, 2024

Cypress County announces second annual Ag Connections Conference in November

By ANNA SMITH on June 6, 2024.


After the resounding success of last year’s inaugural event, Cypress County has announced the date for the second annual Agricultural Connections Conference.

This year, the county is focused on adding even more value for producers, said Beth Cash, economic development officer. “So we have quite a few things that we will be doing differently or adding on this year.”

The first notable change is an expansion; this year’s event, which runs Nov. 20 at the Stampede grounds in Medicine Hat, is set to accommodate 500 attendees, after last year sold out with 337 attendees total.

A reception event is also new to the conference, said Cash.

“November 19, the day before the conference, we’re partnering with Tourism Medicine Hat, and we will be doing a pre-conference reception, which will be an evening for sponsors, speakers and attendees to attend. It’s optional, and we will showcase locally produced food. And it will just be an evening of networking,” said Cash.

The conference will feature two keynote speakers as opposed to just one. The speakers will be Robert Saik, professional agrologist, entrepreneur and international consultant, who will present “Winds of Change: Managing Turbulent Times,” and Mokah Shmigelsky, CEO and board chair of OneCupAI. Shmigelsky will discuss “AI in Agriculture,” focusing on BETSY, an AI-powered, facial recognition, tracking and surveillance platform for the ranching industry.

The keynote by Robert Saik is funded by the Labour Market Partnerships Grant, a partnership between the Province of Alberta and the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services.

“Then in the afternoon, we’ll have breakout sessions. And we are opening up for applications. So this year, anyone and everyone is welcome to apply to be a breakout session presenter, we’re just looking for people that are experts in a certain topic or area that want to come and share their knowledge and educate our attendees,” said Cash.

Breakout sessions will cover a range of pertinent topics including the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, value-add opportunities, succession planning, forage and grazing, labour attraction, drones and more.

“The other really big thing this year is that we’re partnering with PEP, which is the Palliser Economic Partnership,” said Cash. “And the whole purpose of the partnership is just to expand the reach of the conference, reach as many primary producers as we can, and have a positive impact and add value to their farming.”

Currently, the event is looking for breakout presenters, potential vendors and sponsors who may be interested in helping to continue to elevate the event; anyone interested is encouraged to contact Cash at agconnections@cypress.ab.ca.

Early bird tickets for the conference will be available on July 2.

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