The Innovation Showcase winners will be announced next week

Manitoba Ag Days has pivoted one of its most popular events online and will announce the 2022 Innovators Showcase winners on Wednesday.

This year’s online competition featured 33 products vying for the crown in one of seven categories, said Brad Crammond, chair of the Manitoba Ag Days Innovation Showcase committee. Four judges diligently researched and learned about the game-changing products that will impact the industry for years to come.

“Farming never stops. Innovations coming out of our industry are ongoing and being the premier show in Canada, we feel it is our duty to continue to showcase new innovations that truly touch every part of the agricultural industry,” said Crammond.

The competition’s seven categories include agronomy, agri-food services, farm equipment, farm technology, farm safety, animals and livestock, and built-on-farm solutions.

“With the sudden cancellation of the show this year due to restrictions, we wanted to ensure that the Innovation Showcase would continue. The Innovation Showcase definitely highlights the progress of our industry and we are very proud that Manitoba Ag Days brings these products to the forefront and showcases them on a larger scale,” he said. “Many companies have debuted at our show, and we couldn’t be happier to help.”

The 2022 showcase was unique, he added, as it marked the second year in a row that an in-person Ag Days was not possible. Despite adversity, he said, it remains imperative to move forward with the Innovation Showcase portion of Ag Days.

It has been a challenge not being able to see these excellent products “in the flesh” and speak in person to the passionate inventors behind the product. The Ag Days Innovation committee pivoted and did a lot of phone interviews and personal research to understand the products so they could make the best judgments possible.

“We know how important that is, not only to the people who will end up buying these products, but also to those who make and market them,” Crammond said.

The showcase is an exciting part of Farm Days as it often showcases game-changing products in the industry. The organizers of the Agricultural Days are proud of the achievements of inventors and like to highlight them each year during the showcase of innovators.

Particularly memorable competitors in the past have included Ag Shield Ltd.’s first-place TerraFormer 8650. Crammond described it as a versatile earth-moving machine. It is equipped with GPS, automatic grade and level control, allowing users to accurately measure earthworks in fractions of an inch. Utilizing hydraulics, the TerraFormer has blades that can be configured from a V-shape for continuous earthmoving or use a straight pull blade for landscaping.

The TireGrabber has won the highest award in farm safety and left a lasting impression on the industry, Crammond said. The TireGrabber is a unique invention designed to easily attach to any existing hydraulic system and provide a user friendly method of safe and efficient large scale tire handling.

“We’ve just had a large number of companies supplying us with a range of products every year,” Crammond said.

One of his favorite categories is built-on-farm solutions, as it features farmers who come up with innovative solutions to the problems they face every day.

Checking competitors in the storefront can provide insight into growing industry trends, he added.

This year, the agronomic category showcases companies that are working to develop new products, including biostimulants that are more natural and more effective in delivering nutrients to plants.

“They do a better job using less product and less impact on the environment, which is a win-win-win.

“They [the innovators] are so passionate. The time, effort, money and thought that has gone into it is nothing short of inspiring.

Every year, they see many new products coming to the industry, highlighting the innovations that happen daily in agriculture.

Crammond hopes that those who discover the products featured in the Innovation Showcase will go on and encourage people to line up the products.

The winners of the 2022 Manitoba Ag Days Innovators Showcase will be announced on Wednesday via social media. A four-page Innovation Showcase mailing will be sent to farms in the Prairie Provinces.

Further information is also available on the Ag Days website at agdays.com/innovations.

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