John Sweeting has been a Bio-Ag dealer since 2002 servicing the Peterborough area. One of his favourite events to attend is the Hastings County Plowing Match in Tweed. The show hosts over 200 exhibitors and Bio-Ag is proud to be one of them. We recently had a chance to chat with John about his experience at the show and why he attends.
Hi John, thank you for sitting down with me today. Why don’t you tell me how you got started with Bio-Ag?
With Bio-Ag, alright well that’s a bit of a story. I think it goes back to 2002 or 2003; there was an advertistment in the farm paper at the local Ag office about a meeting of producers getting together about organic milk. Murry Bast was the speaker who was coming down to give a presentation. I’d heard of Murray because of my field of farming organically and I always wanted to hear him speak. I was also really interested in the topic of organic milk production. So I went to the meeting and asked a few questions. And at that point in time there was some literature that came in the mail and a letter attached in the envelopes asking if I knew or would possibly be interested in taking on Bio-Ag Distribution. They sent me a binder and I had an interview, so here we are
And the rest is history
Yes and the rest is history
You attend the Hastings County Plowing Match every year; why are you drawn to this show?
I have a bit of history that goes back into Hastings County. I think it was the year of 1986 they hosted the International Plowing Match. And from that experience the gentlemen who worked on that decided amongst themselves that it would be worthwhile to start their own mini plowing match. So it just kind of grew to what it is today. It’s basically the “Outdoor Farm Show” version for East-Central Ontario. It draws people from Ottawa, Renfrew, Kingston and up north into Barrie. It’s 10+ acres of tented city so there is a lot for people to see like demonstrations of new machinery or whatever their focus is for that year.
How do you think you benefit most from attending?
I think it’s the face to face contact. The people who are interested and come into the tent you are more likely to do business with. Through that I guess it’s a more efficient time than making random cold calls. Then you have current customers, who you don’t see quite as often who might come by with a question. And just that one on one contact and networking and building relationships is what makes it worth attending.
What is your favourite part of the two day event?
My favourite part? I guess it’s a case of the whole Ag business coming together. And for people of Ag background it’s a day they look forward to and see all the different vendors who have displays. It’s hard to explain Nicole; Its like-minded people and a certain type of energy when you get a show together. Like I say it’s hard to explain.
Of all the people you talk to, what products do you find they are most interested to learn about?
There could be a variety it could be from any variety of livestock concerns or soil health. It depends on the day of the show and if there are questions. I think it’s a case that we deal with a lot of people that are critical thinkers and a lot of them probably have questions when they come to the show. Because we have consultants and distributors in our name they want to consult with us a little bit to see if we have the answers. That’s probably the best way to put it.
Now is there anything that people can expect?
There is a network of knowledge that we as a company have to draw on because of our dealer network and head office. If there’s a question I can’t answer right away I can soon find out. There will be a general variety of the products we carry displayed so people can see what we have.
Maybe they should just come to the show and visit you at your booth?
Thank you for talking to me today John and we hope you have a good show this year! If you would like to talk to John or get connected with him please head to the Hastings County Plowing Match and stop by his booth!
For more information about the show please visit their facebook page