The Eckville Ag Society is getting ready to start planning another season of events.
The Ag Society operates as an umbrella board formed from the collaboration of Eckville’s arena, curling club, community centre and Friendship Centre.
The four buildings have representatives from their individual boards serve as members of the Ag Society.
The society works to put on and organize the annual parade during rodeo weekend as well as provide support to the arena during the Eckville Indoor Rodeo and the Bull Arena events.
Every few years the society also hosts a casino fundraiser.
“It’s super beneficial to our town because the Ag Society has the casino and then we also get the grant every year from [the provincial government] for putting on events,” said Chris Lightbown, Curling Club representative and society president, adding the funds are used to help out the society’s buildings for different projects.
For example, he explained, last year the Ag Society helped the arena with purchasing new chutes for the rodeo and this year they will be partnering with the Eckville Arena to complete the chute system and put a roof over the alley behind the back of the arena.
“[It’s] just to make it a little safer during the rodeo for events like the barrel racing, when girls are coming flying out of there and it it’s raining they’ll have a dry runway to come in on,” commented Lightbown.
Ag Societies are able to claim expenses from qualifying events, such as rodeos, to apply for grant money which can be used for certain maintenance for the four buildings involved.
All members of the Ag Society are volunteers and they make sure to take a break over the summer months.
Since all but one member of the society already sit on another board they try to keep the load light.
“We try not to do a ton because you end up with volunteer burn out because like I say everybody is already working hard on whether it’s the arena board, the hall board, the Friendship Centre board or the curling board,” said Lightbown. “Everybody’s time is already being taken up with the building they represent.”
The lone neutral position on the Ag Society serves as a crucial position on the board.
Lightbown asks anyone interested in getting involved with the Ag Society contact a board member from one of the four representative buildings.
The society will be meeting next month to begin planning for this year’s rodeo and Bull Arena events.