The Agricultural Exhibition’s History
Members of the Urbainville village farmers’ club came up with the idea for an agricultural exposition. This group was founded in 1899 under the chairmanship of a teacher, Laurent A. Arsenault. In its first year the group boasted 70 members who met every two weeks.
In 1901, the provincial government established its own Department of Agriculture, which immediately set up a number of programs for farmers designed to improve practices and make their operations more profitable.
Although the Urbainville farmers kept their circle going, they joined those of other districts in the parishes of Egmont Day, Mont Carmel and Wellington (lots 14 and 15, and part of lot 16) to form the Union Farmers’ Institute.
In 1907, the Union Farmers’ Institute was one of the largest and most active in the province, with 185 members. Thanks to a dynamic membership and the support of the Department of Agricultural, they applied themselves to agricultural education through conferences with specialists, and the collective purchase of pedigree livestock, ploughing implements and seed. The members also co-operated in marketing their agricultural products.
It was in this context of popular education for farmers that the Evangeline Region’s first agricultural exhibition was born. The organization of such an event was seen as a good way to promote excellence in agriculture. The farmers from Urbainville were doubtless inspired by the few exhibitions which were established in the province at that time, such as the Prince County Exhibition held in Summerside and the Provincial Exhibition in Charlottetown.