About Peterborough Ag
Initially known as the Colborne District Agricultural Society (1842-1850) fairs were usually one day and held on the Court House Green. The name Peterborough Agricultural Society was adopted in 1854 and remained unchanged until 1867 during which time the one-day fairs were usually held in the fall on a Saturday at varying locations including Town Hall, Market Square, Water Street and the Court House. It was even once held in Norwood during these days.
From 1867 to 1902, the fair was called The West Riding Fair and the Peterborough Central Exhibition. During this era these events ranged from mid-week two-day shows to four-day affairs and were held on what is now known as Morrow Park.
At the turn of the century as Peterborough became a city of industrial innovation, so did the fair. From 1903 to 1940 the fair was called the Peterboro Industrial Exhibition and was a full four-day event. During wartime the fair was cancelled so the grounds could be used for a training centre; a necessary but concerning act since no one knew if the fair would ever be held in Peterborough again.
Following the war the name “Peterborough Exhibition” was coined and resumed as a five day show which ended on the Saturday before the CNE.
Although the dates, names and locations have changed the once constant is the spirit of showcasing innovation in agriculture.
Young people must be encouraged to take up farming and it is through agricultural colleges that they will do so. It is also through exhibitions, with their traditions, that the importance of agriculture can be impressed upon the public. The duty of the Fair has changed: it began as a task of improvement — a duty which has been taken over, in large part, by the state. Today the duty is to enter into the public mind and present the farming of tomorrow — and do so in the festive spirit introduced in the 19th century.
~ Peterborough Examiner, August 5, 1958 Editorial
After recently completing our Strategic Plan we are planning and building for the future. In addition to modernizing the Peterborough Ex we are building partnerships within the community to heighten Ag awareness and contribute to developing a region that supports our sector to help build the economy.
Ryan Moore, President 1st Vice President Mike Skinner, Sandra Busby, Dave Cavanagh, General Manager Helen Burgomaster Kathleen Clodd Bob Hickey Rebecca Stockdale Viren D’Souza Victoria McEldon Evan Stanley, Youth Member
In 2015, the Peterborough Agricultural Society in partnership with the City of Peterborough, undertook a strategic plan process. In Fall 2015, Guelph based firm Synthesis Agri-Food Network was contracted to work with the Board to create a strategic plan. The process involved multiple community meetings, stakeholder interviews as well as a community input survey. In April 2016 the strategic plan was finalized.
The Peterborough Agricultural Society is now moving forward to modernize the Peterborough Ex and to create partnerships in the community so that we have a strong voice for the agricultural community.