Former Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz took part in the Burning of the Brand to mark the official opening of Canadian Western Agribition.

Agribition President Bruce Holmquist says Gerry Ritz has a legacy of opening international markets for Canadian agriculture and being an advocate for local producers around the world.

This year about a thousand International Visitors are expected to visit the six-day show.

Ritz said he was looking forward to seeing the quality of the cattle at the show this year noting the continued international interest in the show.

“Every year it just gets bigger and better. I know when we first started selling genetics into Russia and Kazakhstan and others. Everyone kept saying, my god they’ll procreate and outdo us, while it just drove us to do bigger and better; as well, the same thing with seed varieties and grain and so forth. It’s really opened a lot of people’s eyes that the better the quality of cattle around the world the better it is for Canada.”

Holmquist credited Ritz with being instrumental in bringing the federal government to the table to get the International Trade Centre built, which is the key to the future of Agribition.

Overall, close to a thousand International Visitors are expected to visit Canadian Western Agribition throughout the week.

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