Small Talk: Jim Smalley on going to Agribition as a visitor rather than a journalist

This year’s Canadian Western Agribition took on a different meaning for a long-time agri-news journalist who recently retired.

Former 620 CKRM Ag News Director Jim Smalley covered his first Agribition in 1975 and has gone every year until late-April of this year when he decided to hang up the headphones following a 50-year career in broadcasting.

He admitted it was awkward at first but got to a point where he could enjoy it without having to worry about “taking copious notes and try to make it into a very specific news story.”

“I could listen and really enjoy it.” Smalley said.

While he didn’t have to generate any news stories or features for the daily Sask Ag Today program, he still kept himself busy.

Smalley participated in the burning of the brand to start the week-long show alongside Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe – a task which Smalley admitted was his first time using a brand – and was the Emcee of the two-day Grain Expo, which took place Tuesday and Wednesday from the Queensbury Convention Centre.

When asked about the differences between Agribition in the 70s and today, Smalley said the amount of indoor facilities available is one noticable change. Back then, he said farmers had to use tents so dairy cows could get away from the cold, compared to now where one doesn’t need to worry about the winter weather.

As for retirement, Smalley has been enjoying it.

“It’s a nice time to relax, put your feet up a bit, but I’ve been keeping busy too, and I’ll be doing a podcast (for so I’ll be looking forward to that.”

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