MATE is Feb. 15-17 | TSLN.com

MATE is Feb. 15-17

Billings, MT–Agriculture is big business in the Billings region, drawing customers from a span of 500 miles away. The MATE show, February 15-17, highlights agriculture products and services for those customers just in time for the upcoming Spring season.

Since 1976 the MATE, short for Montana Agri-Trade Exposition, invites agricultural businesses to MetraPark for a three-day trade show. Increased interest, and attendance grew the MATE to become the largest Ag trade show in the region. The businesses that set up booths capture their target audience and build relationships with customers.

Equipment dealers bring in the latest models of tractors. Seed specialist display new varieties. Livestock nutritionist answer questions and provide strategies. Visitors come because they can test out products, investigate new technologies, and come up with ideas to take back to the farm or ranch to make operation better.

The spring-like February weather usually encourages cabin-fevered neighbors to come out and catch up. MATE provides an atmosphere of swapping stories and one-upping who got more moisture.

Attend the MATE theater–classroom style presentations covering a wide range of topics. Learn about the latest in precision farming, discover the latest in crop varieties, find out proper fertilizer application, educate yourself on farm and ranch management and more. Saturday's classes include music, dancing, and painting–all new this year. The full schedule can be found on the website.

The MATE show focuses on agriculture, but it also features the Home & Health show. Businesses that offer products and services for the home set up in the Montana Pavilion. The home is a part of the farm or ranch after all. Clothing, food, nutrition, insurance, crafting supplies, and a menagerie of other things fill the Home & Health show.

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Every year Grand Prizes are given away on the last day of the show. This year's grand prizes are a John Deere gator, a Sunshine Infared sauna, and one ton of SweetPro products. For a chance to win fill out the back of the MATE ticket and put it in the drawing drums. The winners will be announced Saturday, February 17 starting at 4:15 p.m.

Tickets are free and can be found at First Interstate Bank locations in Billings and Hardin. Tickets can also be picked up from vendors, and the NILE office, or printed off the MATE website. Without a ticket, entrance is $7.

–MATE