All sorts of deals were made at the 2010 Western Canada Farm Progress Show this week, and many of them were between international buyers and North American exporters.
"They come to buy," said Shirley Janeczko, co-ordinator of the International Business Centre at the show. "They know we have the reputation to be the biggest show in North America."
Last year, over $110 million in recorded international business transactions were made at the annual farm equipment show. This year's show will exceed that number, said Janeczko.
"A lot of the countries that are coming, their markets are stale. They come to our show to get new ideas and new innovation," she said.
The International Business Centre at the Queensbury Centre provided a meeting place for international buyers and registered exporters.
The centre -- as opposed to the exhibit floor -- is where the majority of international business transactions happened, said Janeczko. Global visitors could hold private meetings and, with the speed of technology, contact their home base to finalize deals.
The largest dryland farm technology and equipment show in Canada has much to offer -- but every delegate is looking for something different.
"It depends on the state of the agriculture sector in that country," said Mona Taylor, senior trade commissioner for federal Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
"The newer countries like Mongolia, their practices and technology aren't there yet. They're looking at things that we're doing or have done in the past. Kazakhstan's land and agricultural sector is very similar to ours, so then they're looking to update their farming practices to get the greatest yield out of their crops."
One of the largest delegations is from Russia, consisting of 40 farmers from different agricultural backgrounds and regions of the country.
"Some equipment that is considered very common and typical here, is still very new for them," said Victoria Umin, international account executive for Ag Growth International, one of the companies responsible for bringing the Russian delegation to the show.
"For example, they're very familiar with augers, but not portable belt conveyors. It's something new for them that most of them want to see."
There are only five companies that manufacture agricultural equipment in Russia, said Umin, and their technology is outdated in comparison to what is available in North America. They came to the show to find innovations that could stabilize their agricultural growth.
"They are still not very familiar with aeration of grain bins," she explained. "They know the grain has to be stored, but they need to know what is the proper storage time and the moisture and temperature (needed)."
Over 500 international buyers were in attendance from 49 different countries, a significant increase from 33 countries last year. New delegations included Panama, Syria and Croatia. The feedback from these visitors has been overwhelmingly positive, said Janeczko.
"It's so rewarding," she said. "The business centre is the best place in the show to be."