Russell Nemetz has the Montana Ag Network report for Monday, February 17, 2020.
The MATE show, February 20-22, highlights agriculture products and services just in time for the upcoming spring season, drawing visitors from a 500-mile radius. The MATE is the largest agriculture trade show in the region.
Since 1976 the MATE, short for Montana Agri-Trade Exposition, invites agricultural businesses to MetraPark for a three-day trade show. Increased interest and attendance grew the MATE to become the largest Ag trade show in the region. The businesses that set up booths capture their target audience and build relationships with customers.
Equipment dealers bring in the latest models of tractors. Seed specialists display new varieties. Livestock nutritionists answer questions and provide strategies. Visitors attend because they can test out products, investigate new technologies, and come up with ideas to take back to the farm or ranch to make their operation better.
Attend the MATE theater which provides classroom style presentations covering a wide range of topics. Learn about the newest technology to aide in pesticide application, discover the latest alfalfa weevil management, identify invasive grasses and plants that are toxic to livestock and more. Saturday's classes include beef quality assurance and free painting with bitterroot sip & paint. The full schedule can be found on the website.
The MATE show focuses on agriculture, but it also features the home and health show. Businesses that offer products and services for the home set up in the Montana Pavilion. The home is a part of the farm or ranch after all. Clothing, food, nutrition, insurance, crafting supplies, and a menagerie of other things fill the home & health show.
Tickets are free and can be found at First Interstate Bank locations in Billings, Hardin, Miles City, Laurel, Columbus, Absarokee, and Livingston. Tickets can also be picked up from vendors, and the NILE office, or printed from the MATE website. Without a ticket, entrance is $7.