When Manulift was invited as an exhibitor at the Thanks For Farming Tour in Red Deer on Nov. 11 and 12, we were excited. With so many events cancelled this year, it was great to get the chance to showcase Merlo telehandlers to Western Canadians.

The event offered everything you could hope for. Great speakers, interested attendees, a wide range of exhibitors and of course, all of the necessary safety precautions.

A safe, fun experience

With 75 exhibitors showcasing their products at the event and around , it was great to see everyone respecting social distancing and face covering protocols.

Jeremy Matuszewski, President of Thunderstruck Sales & Markerting and Thanks For Farming Tour organizer, knew that safety was a top priority going into this event, and surrounded himself with experts to be able to ensure all of the proper precautions.

“We’re really luck we did this during the summer so that we had an idea about the safety protocols we had to take,” said Matuszewski. “The smartest move we did was hiring crowd design to come in and they managed the whole protocol, everything we had to do. They handled the liaison with Alberta Health Services.”

“I’ve got the best team. It’s a group of 11 people that put this together, and it’s so cool to be a part of.”

Matuszewski also said he was overwhelmed by the support he had gotten from attendees.

“I was down at the gate earlier, greeting exhibitors, making sure everyone had cap shields on when the farmers started coming. I can’t tell you how many people came up and said thank you for putting this event on.”

Making inroads in Western Canada

For Manulift, the chance to meet and speak with Western Canadian farmers was invaluable. Our Merlo machines were the only motorized machines at the event.

While Merlo is still relatively new to the scene in places like Alberta and Saskatchewan, its versatility and compact design has farmers excited.

“Showcasing the machines here has been very positive,” said Dan Rossiter, Territory Dealer Manager at Manulift. “People have found it very impressive. People taking these into their farms, this is their livelihood. If it fails, then they could be out of commission for a week or two. So Merlo having those overbuilt, serious machinery pieces has been hugely positive to everyone we’ve shown them to.”

Farmers and attendees were happy to get an closer look at the machines and understand just how they could help optimize agriculture operations.

“There seems to be a lot of excitement around the machine,” explained Joel Smit, Ag & Industrial Territory Manager at Manulift. “There’s a lot of farmers seeing a telehandler with a three-point hitch for the first time. It’s a very eye-opening demonstration for me as well to see what farmers are appreciating about Merlo versus the competition.”

And for those who are on the fence about committing to a Merlo for their farms?

“Take one for a drive. Give us a call, we’d love to set up a demonstration for you,” said Smit. “Once you operate the machine, it’s easy to tell how Merlo sets itself apart. They show themselves off better than I could ever explain it.”

Enlightening speakers

Some of the most enlightening moments of the two-day event came from the speakers that sat down to talk about agriculture in Western Canada, technology and their experiences as Canadian farmers. On Day 1, the event welcomed five speakers to sit down as part of a Farmer Round Table – Greg Stamp (Stamp Seeds), John Kowalchuk (Kowalchuk Farms), Lynn Dargis (Farmbucks), Wade McAllister (Antler Valley Farm) and Jessica Dugdale (Farm & Canvas). The round table was moderated by Dickson Delorme, better known as social media star Quick Dick McDick.

The Thanks For Farming Tour also hosted Joel Bokenfohr and Annessa Good from Farm Credit Canada to discuss transition planning, a mental health discussion led by Lesley Kelly from the High Heels and Canola Fields blog and a grain marketing talk from Tristan Periad.

All of these speakers shared invaluable insight into farming in Canada.

Overall, the Thanks For Farming Tour was a great success, not just for Manulift, but for the organizers, attendees and exhibitors. We’re looking forward to continuing to connect with farmers and Western Canadians.

To learn more about how Merlo telehandlers are perfect for your agricultural operations, click here!