Century-old agricultural society harvests diverse lineup, services

The Stettler District Agricultural Society has been a fixture of the community for more than a century.

The Stettler District Agricultural Society has been a fixture of the community for more than a century.

Established in 1907, the society has served the agricultural community in a variety of capacities for educational, business and entertainment purposes.

The 105-year-old organization remains a busy group, hosting multiple functions each month.

Laurel Pole has recently been elected acting-president of the ag society, taking over from Michelle Rangen, who has left the community.

Initially, the Stettler Agricultural Society served the agricultural community by sponsoring fairs, bull sales and rodeos.

Today, services have been expanded to include a wide variety of community interests — including enhanced facilities and the operation of the Agriplex.

Pole outlined some of the events that take place on the grounds. She said the Silver Spurs 4-H Club is one of the groups that uses the facility on a regular basis.

Among other regular events are the jackpot team-roping, the high school rodeo, ranch horse competitions, horsemanship and barrel-racing clinics, cattle penning, trick-riding training clinics, roughstock practice and open riding.

Events such as the bull-a-rama, the roughstock rodeo, district 4-H beef clubs’ show and sale, a gun show, cowboy church and farmers’ markets are also held at the ag grounds.

Pole said the farmers’ markets have had as many as 46 tables and organizers are now planning their Christmas market.

Cowboy church is held regularly on the first and third Tuesday each month.

Adding to the variation of events are roller-derby practices, soccer and barrel-racing in the winter months.

“We provide something for everyone in the community,” Pole said.

The Agriplex is also a popular rental facility. Many functions, such as birthday and anniversary parties, information sessions and meetings, are held there.

In recent years, the Stettler Agricultural Society has prided itself in bringing big-name entertainment to town. Past acts have included Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Trooper. This year’s feature show is the Julian Austin and One More Girl concert Oct. 27.

“It’s a privilege to enrich the lives of the people in the community and broaden arts’ horizons,” said Rangen, one of the show organizers.

It takes many volunteers to keep an organization like the Stettler Agricultural Society operating.

“We have tremendous volunteers,” Pole said. “They keep everything working — we can count on them.”

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