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- Moose Jaw Agricultural Society
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231 photographs, 93 slides.
1 audio cassette tape.
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The Moose Jaw Agricultural Society was formed on July 26, 1884 at a meeting of farmers and others interested in forming an agricultural society. The meeting was held in the Florida and MacIntosh Hall. H.C. Battell was appointed chairman of the meeting and W. Goodwin acted as secretary. A motion was made by William Poulton and seconded by William Watson, “That in the opinion of this meeting it is advisable to form an association known as “The Moose Jaw Agricultural Society” for the purpose of advancing the interests of the farmers in the Moose Jaw district and of agriculture in general.” Following discussion, this motion was carried unanimously.
The first officers elected were H.C. Battell, president; William Watson, vice-president; J. Watson, secretary. A committee of directors elected were Messers. MacIntosh, Cline, J.E. Boys, W. Grayson, G. Grayson, McDougall, J.H. Boys, David Boys, Rorrison, McCarrole, Cudmore, Ivon, Duston, Bowden, Goodwin, Gilmour, Nicol and William Pitblado. The first directors meeting was held on August 9, 1884.
Through the efforts of the Moose Jaw Agricultural Society, the Robin Hood Flour Mills were established in Moose Jaw. The Society brought the need of a community hospital before the Town Council. In 1906 the Moose Jaw General Hospital was officially opened. The Society was instrumental in having the Canadian Pacific Railway plough fire guards to prevent prairie fires. In the early years following unsuccessful crops, the Society negotiated with the C.P.R. authorities for seed grain, on credit, to be distributed to needy farmers. It petitioned that farmers be allowed to take up second homesteads on cancelled lands without going forty miles from their first one. It brought in new varieties of cereal grains and vegetables.
The Moose Jaw Agricultural Society worked to improve farming methods. One of its first achievements was organizing an annual fair and exhibition in 1884. The Agricultural Society ran the fair until 1917 when the Moose Jaw Exhibition Board took over. As early as 1884, exhibits of sheaves, grains and roots were sent to the London Exhibition. Many prizes and championships have been won for grain and livestock at exhibitions and fairs, including the Toronto Royal and Chicago International fairs.
The Society has sponsored summer, fall and seed grain fairs, plowing matches, stallion shows, seed drilling, standing fields of grain , summerfallow, better farming, garden and yard competitions. It has hosted forums and sponsored programs, some jointly with the Horticultural and Poultry Associations.
The Society was always involved in the education of farmers and of young people. Many courses, seminars and activities were available in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Agricultural Societies’ Association, the provincial Department of Agriculture and the University of Saskatchewan Extension Division. In the early years farm camps were held during the summers in Regina and Saskatoon. Boys would win prizes, medals and scholarships. Boys and Girls clubs were sponsored beginning with the Tuxford Swine Club in 1927. In 1952 these clubs became 4-H Clubs to include grain, dairy, beef, home crafts and poultry clubs. The Agricultural Society actively encouraged and supported these clubs.
Members of the Moose Jaw Agricultural Society held an annual fall banquet, at which time the Farmer of the Year Award was presented. Some of its members have been inducted into the Saskatchewan Agriculture Hall of Fame.
The Moose Jaw Agricultural Society was a member of the Saskatchewan Agricultural Societies’ Association. It was in District #8 in the South-West Region. In 1987, the Saskatchewan Agricultural Societies’ Association was restructured to form a new association known as the Saskatchewan Association of Agricultural Societies and Exhibitions Inc. In 1992, the Government of Saskatchewan (Saskatchewan Rural Development) announced they would no longer provide operating grants to agricultural societies, exhibitions and horticultural societies.
The last meeting of the Moose Jaw Agricultural Society was held on Thursday, December 3, 1992. Other organizations and agencies do the work that the Society once did. The Moose Jaw Agricultural Society decided to disband and turn over its remaining funds to the Saskatchewan 4-H Foundation. The records of 108 years of existence were donated to the Moose Jaw Public Library.
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