On Tuesday, the Pembina Valley gathered for CFAM Radio 950's annual Farmer Appreciation Lunch, a heartfelt event honouring the hardworking farmers who are the backbone of the local economy. Hosted at the Merdian Exhibition Centre in Winkler, the event featured a collection of booths from local businesses dedicated to supporting the farming community.

"It's very nice to show the farmer's appreciation. Most people don't realize what the farmers do for us. We depend on them to put food on our table," said attendee Esther Hiebert.

The atmosphere was energetic, with booths offering a variety of free items and showcasing products and services specific to farmers' needs. Attendees had the opportunity to talk with representatives from agricultural suppliers, equipment dealers, financial institutions, and other businesses that play an important role in the agricultural sector. These booths provided valuable information and resources, reinforcing the community's commitment to supporting its farmers.

"There's been a good number of people and a lot of good conversations. I think there's a lot of optimism," said attendee Katie Gunther. "It's good to see people together and the community coming together and having a meal... We've been farming for a long time. It's just sort of a part of me."

A highlight of the event was the BBQ burger lunch, well prepared by The Bunker, a local favourite known for its delicious food. The smell of grilled burgers filled the air, drawing attendees to the food area to enjoy a meal while socializing with fellow community members.

"This event is a time for everyone to get together. Farmers get to spend time with other farmers and also touch base... It’s a bit of a break," said Gary Edel, a representative from Valley Agro Services.

The event focused on strengthening and forming new connections while expressing gratitude through simple, genuine interactions. It served as a reminder of farmers' essential role in sustaining the community and the mutual support between local businesses and the farming sector.

"The fact that it shows appreciation for all the hard work that we do and everything that goes into it is meaningful," said attendee Jeremy Heppner.

Overall, the Farmer Appreciation Lunch was a success. It celebrated farmers' dedication and hard work while supporting the Winkler community.

The winner of the grand prize, a Meridian GrainMax 3000 hopper bottom bin, will be announced during the Wednesday, July 10th Manitoba Farm Journal on CFAM Radio 950.