Thousands of people flocked to Metra Park in Billings for the 2022 Montana Agri Trade Exposition (MATE) Show and Home and Health Expo this weekend.
For forty-five years, the MATE Show has helped support Montana’s number industry, agriculture, by showcasing the latest and greatest in agriculture innovations and technology. Enticing farmers, ranchers, and vendors from across the state and region to attend.
Canceled in 2021 due to COVID, attendees and vendors were thrilled to gather at Metra Park.
Agri-Best Feeds, with its headquarters in Billings and dealers located across the state, was ready to share their products and knowledge with agricultural producers.
“It's been really nice after we had that year off and I think people are ready to get out,” said Agri-Best Feeds Cattle Specialist Dwain Hould. “Attendees come to see people. See what's around and visit with vendors and see what's new, what's different and what can help them out on their operation.”
During this time of the year, farmers and ranchers begin making important decisions for the upcoming growing season. The MATE show and its exhibitors provide producers knowledge and new tools to improve production. The event also highlights new technology.
Tim Schulz is General Manager of C & B Operations. He said MATE Show attendees were very interested in learning more about John Deere's new fully autonomous tractor.
“It's a tractor, just like this tractor here at our booth, but it doesn't have anybody in the cab,” said Schulz. “The autonomous tractor’s operator has got the tractor set to run a 400-acre field without anybody sitting in it. So, everybody's kind of going ‘Holy cow! How does that really work?’.”
The event highlights the importance of all the agriculture events held at Metra Park year-round. While also acknowledging the role that agriculture plays in being the backbone of Montana's economy.
“If it wasn't for agriculture, Metra Park wouldn't be here,” said Dwain Hould. “This is what makes Billings what it is. Metra Park, ag, MATE Show, all NILE events, draw people from all over the state. Agriculture people that come here to shop, buy equipment, buy feed, whatever it may be. I don't think that Billings wouldn't be near what it is without agriculture.”
For more on the MATE Show and Home and Health Expo visit https://www.themateshow.com/