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Northlands Park - Memories Worth Keeping
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Farmfair International

The early 1970s were an optimistic time for Northlands; the park was realizing profits on its existing ventures, and the volunteer board of directors was looking for new ways to attract the public while remaining true to the organization's agricultural roots. Instead of merely showcasing agriculture, as they had successfully done throughout the organization’s history, leaders wanted to address changes in that sector by encouraging producers to remain in a difficult field.

1981 Farmfair InternationalWith that in mind, the board proposed expanding the park's agricultural activities beyond the summer months and, in 1972, applied for government funding to operate a fall livestock show. As part of a larger series of changes, the first Farmfair International opened on a high note in November 1974, featuring some of the finest specimens of bovine genetics available. Other animals, from rabbits to horses, were displayed and sold through the constellation of smaller shows surrounding the main event.

Besides increased exposure for producers, the fair also created 110 full-time positions that fall. This number slowly climbed through the following years, even as Northlands itself dealt with the economic difficulties that characterized the organization in the early 1980s. The change, however, did not end there. Farmfair International subsequently moved to its current home at the AgriCom, a multi-purpose structure that had just been built on the site of the old Edmonton Gardens, in 1982.

Quarterhorse saleToday, Farmfair continues to focus on agriculture through the showcase of livestock and equipment. It also hosts related activities such as AgAwareness, which makes agriculture more accessible to the public, and the AgBusiness Centre, which provides networking opportunities for producers and buyers from a number of countries. As a consequence, there are $1 million CDN in direct transactions conducted through on-site livestock sales, while the totality of Farmfair activities generates about $15 million CDN for the local economy annually.

A 'Farm Family Award', various raffles, and the Western Art Show and Sale round out the busy atmosphere at these events.

Farmfair International owes its continued success largely to the 800 volunteers who keep the attraction running, and the 60,000 people who visit every year.

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Quicklinks

Livestock shows
 and auctions

Machinery shows
 and auctions

4-H and other rural youth programs

Homemaking

Farmfair
 International

New Directions

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