Weather, prices and ads pull record number of people to 2016 MATE |

Weather, prices and ads pull record number of people to 2016 MATE

Montana Ford Stores won the category of Best Large Ag Booth. Photo courtesy the NILE

A record number of people attended the 2016 MATE, totaling 18,106 over the three days. The combination of warm weather, three grand prizes and extra advertising for the 40th anniversary are suspected to be the reason so many people came out to MetraPark February 18-20.

“We wouldn’t be able to put on the show without our volunteers, vendors, and visitors,” commented Traci Marchwinski, MATE show manager.

Multiple drawings led to multiple winners at the MATE show. The grand prizes drew in a large crowd, dropping their ticket in the drawing drum in hopes of winning. The John Deere gator was won by Gail Shaw of Miles City, MT. The one ton of AgriBest feed was won by Jack Hoffman of Ballantine, MT. The Sunshine Infared Sauna was won by Denisse Williams of Billings, MT.

The Bull Pen Preview showcased ten different breeders and gave cattlemen a chance to look at bulls before upcoming sales. The winners of $300 gift certificate towards the purchase of a bull was won by Jim Sullivan of Richey, MT and Carl Thompson of Columbus, MT. The 2017 Bull Pen Preview is already sold out.

Vendors are judged on the appearance of their display for a chance to win Best Booth Award. Criteria is based on attractiveness and interactive elements. This year’s large Ag booth award was given to Montana Ford Stores. The small ag booth was awarded to North 40 Ag and the Home and Health booth was bestowed to Parker’s Hangover Tonic.

Over 600 booths filled up two buildings and courtyard. There was an increase in food vendors from past years ranging Mexican to Greek to Asian and classic American.

Welcoming everyone into the ExpoCenter were members of the Billings Chamber Ag Committee, as well as NILE Directors. These pillars in the community worked the info booth and caught up with old friends as they came into see the farm and ranch equipment.

The 2017 MATE show is scheduled for Feb. 16-18.

–the NILE

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