MATE Show Begins - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

MATE Show Begins

Posted: Updated:

The annual Montana Agri-Trade Exposition, or MATE show, runs for three days and brings thousands to the event.

This winter has been a tough one for AG producers because of the weather. Ranchers at the show say they have had challenges keeping water flowing and making sure there's enough feed.

"We've had to deal with wind," said Ron Fischer with Fischer Red Angus. "Mother Nature always throws something. We've had the cold, really extreme cold temperatures in January right when we were calving. So if you're from Montana, and lived here all your life, you expect those things. But Mother Nature throws it, you got to be able to accept it."

Agriculture is Montana's number one industry and the MATE show brings new technology and tools to help with productivity.

"It means that we might be able to find a better process or maybe a different way of doing something that might be more efficient," said Hans Buckner, with Split Diamond Ranch. "Finding a piece of equipment that might do a better job for us that we don't have or might need."

"You know, it's only going to go up from here," said Shelby Shaw, MATE show livestock coordinator, about the new technology. "It's going to help those crops come out, like I said. Produce our feed for our cattle as well as for the industry and the world. We are feeding the world."

Ranchers are promoting bull sales for the spring and say they also learn from each other at the show.

The show runs from 10 AM to 6 PM tomorrow and 10 AM to 5 PM on Saturday. It's free if you pick up tickets ahead of time at first interstate bank and from the companies that are vendors at the show. At the door, tickets are $7.