Cowbelles

Some of the members of the Glendive Cowbelles gather in the kitchen at the GATE before lunch service. Expect great food at the GATE

GLENDIVE, Mont. – The premier winter ag show in eastern Montana and the oldest in the region, the 41st annual Glendive Agri-Trade Expo (GATE), comes to the Eastern Plains Event Center (EPEC) on Feb. 8-9, with ranchers, farmers and their families expected to attend.

The GATE features new and emerging ag technologies from agri-businesses at the two-day trade show on Friday and Saturday.

“The GATE is a wonderful show for the winter season and it is unique because it is 100 percent about agriculture. We always have good attendance,” said Kathy McLane, a member of the GATE committee. “Since it’s the middle of winter, everyone wants to get out, meet friends, visit at the GATE, and see what is new is agriculture this year, before calving and seeding starts.”

Gates will open at 9 a.m., and close at 6 p.m. on Friday and reopen at 9 am., on Saturday, closing at 4 p.m.

Ag seminars on Friday will start at 11 a.m., and close at 5 p.m. The presentations will be important to both crop and livestock producers, including a talk on pesticide labels, weeds, insects, diseases, aquifers and a special presentation by Ed Haugen, speaking about keeping the family farm in the family.

The GATE tradeshow has been ongoing for 41-years, showcasing agri-business vendors and being “the” place for farmers, ranchers and their families to network, learn about new products and spend time with their neighbors.

Vendors come from five surrounding states and Canada.

Some 80 agricultural vendors display products at their booth, and some large farm and ranch equipment and vehicle dealers/vendors display outside. Some vendors will have displays both inside and outside.

“The trade show is a good time for producers to ask questions of the agri-business representatives about what new and more efficient products are out there for fencing, working cattle, planting, harvesting, controlling weeds, using seed treatments, and anything else on their minds for spring and the upcoming year,” said Cody Fulton, chairman of the GATE committee. Fulton grew up on a Montana ranch, and currently co-owns Agri-Industries in several towns.

Products displayed last year included feed and seed vendors, ranch supply and equipment vendors, genetics companies, water suppliers, farm and ranch equipment, financial companies, housing companies, vehicle dealers, and vendors showcasing the newest innovations in agriculture.

“We have so many agri-businesses coming, such as the Yellowstone Recreation Center, which sells and repairs all sizes of motorcycles, that farmers and ranchers will be able to see everything they need for their operations in one place at the trade show,” Fulton added.

After the trade show closes on Friday evening, there will be a special vendor reception for all vendors sponsored by The Prairie Star.

The Prairie Star will also have a booth at this year’s GATE show, so stop by, ask questions, and sign up for a subscription to the agricultural publication – if you don’t already have one.

No one goes hungry at the GATE. Delicious smells fill the air at all times of the day at the GATE.

McLane said the GATE committee makes it easy for vendors to showcase their products at GATE, and then go straight down the Interstate to Billings for the MATE show.

“Agri-businesses are able to go to both shows, and they really like that. The GATE benefits from having some terrific agri-businesses display their products that normally would not make the trip, so that brings in a lot of vendors and a lot of producers to the show,” McLane said. 

The Glendive Cowbelles will be serving up food and refreshments during the show.

“The food the Cowbelles create is absolutely yummy. Some people in town stop by just to see a bit of the trade show and have lunch,” McLane said.

The Cowbelles also prepare a special luncheon for producers attending the ag seminars Friday.

Many ag show visitors are interested in the annual raffle, which always raffles off excellent prizes.

The main prize is a Remington 700 DCL SF 7mm firearm, with a 26-inch barrel with wood stock. The scope is a Leupold 4.5-14x40 10 CDS.

The second prize is a Savage 10 Predator Hunter 223 Max 1 firearm with a 22-inch barrel and camo stock. The scope is a Nikon Monarch 3-12x42 with custom turret.

The third prize will be a beautiful bronze sculpture (worth $1,050) created and donated by Pam Harr and Bridger Bronze Gallery of Glendive. The bronze is of a working cowboy riding a horse with a cattle dog taking the lead.

Tickets for the raffle can be purchased from any GATE board member or at the Glendive Chamber of Commerce. 

During the trade show, local radio station KXGN and Northern Ag Network out of Billings will be broadcasting live.

McLane likes to remind GATE visitors, “in a state where cattle outnumber people, agriculture IS our business.”

She would know.

McLane runs a cow/calf operation with her husband near Glendive, and they also raise wheat, pulse crops and cover crops.

McLane talked about some of new ag technologies that will be at the trade show.

“There will more than likely be mention of cover crops at the trade show. So many producers around here are trying them, and cover crops are a natural way of retaining nitrates and building soil organic matter,” McLane said. She said the Glendive area is very arid, so the taproot cover crops help by going down deep and bringing nutrients back up. “Cover crops also break up the soil. We had soil like granite in one field where the rain ran right off, and now our soil is broken up nicely, and we have good water infiltration,” she said.

McLane said they are also trying out solar well technology at their ranch, and really like it.

“It’s working really well for us. It pumps water to our water tanks for our cattle out in the pastures,” she said.

The GATE committee’s board, made up mostly of farmers and ranchers in the Glendive region, continues to organize the show with agriculture the number one emphasis.

“Our group is so unusual. We have people on the board that have been on the board for more than 30 years, and they are all dedicated to agriculture and making the annual GATE a great experience about agriculture,” she said.

McLane and Fulton invite everyone in the region to the 41st annual GATE trade show and ag seminar.

“Join us as we take a break from winter challenges, and gather with neighbors, family and friends to enjoy all that GATE has to offer,” McLane said.  

The EPEC building is located at 313 South Merrill St. in Glendive.

Call McLane at 406-987-3777 for more information, or see the website at https://

gatexpo.com.