Essa & District Agricultural Society

A Brief History:
The Essa and District Agricultural Society (EDAS) has been in existence for 162 years. Formerly the Barrie and District Agricultural Society, the Society was formed to host the community annual Fall Fair.

The EDAS is a non-profit organization with many benefits to its community. The objectives of the Society are to encourage an awareness of agriculture and to promote improvements in the quality of persons living in our community, both rural and urban. The Society strives to provide a facility to serve the agricultural, trade, recreational, cultural and entertainment needs of the city of Barrie, adjoining townships, county of Simcoe and Central Ontario as a year round multi-purpose facility.

The EDAS is also responsible for hosting the Barrie Fair and Horse Show annually, which is a family focused event targeting families of all ages. The event presents agriculture in an entertaining, educational fashion with farm animals, horse shows, livestock shows, 4H shows, rabbit and poultry shows, arts and crafts, flowers, fruits and vegetables, grandstand attractions with tractor and horse pulls, musical entertainment and a spectacular midway with rides and games. The Fair also focuses on the community and encourages engagement from local service clubs, children’s clubs such as Scouts, Guides and sports, municipal departments, and churches.

In addition to the Barrie Fair, EDAS began running the Event Centre in 2001 as a way to maintain their facilities and provide a place for community events and functions. Over the past years the Event Centre has provided many community groups and businesses with a place to hold their respective events including: Tradeshows, charity fundraising events, banquets, horse shows and public/corporate meetings. The Event Centre has since been sold and the Society purchased 100 acres near Ivy to build on the activities commenced at our Essa Road property. Since moving out of Barrie we changed our name to the Essa and District Agricultural Society and started building a completely new facility.


EDAS Vision:

Our Core Beliefs:
We, believe in farming and agriculture as a way of life. Our site and initiatives will foster growth in agriculture and agribusiness. We believe that our members want innovative comprehensive programs and events that give us the greatest opportunity to prosper and grow. We believe that agriculture must continually reach out and connect with urban centres to help educate non-farming people about the necessity and sustainability of agriculture and agribusiness and the well being of our societies. We believe that technology and science must be embraced to ensure that productivity improvements match world population needs. We believe in cooperation and collaboration with governments, businesses and educational facilities to ensure the sustainability of agriculture.

Vision Statement:
“Connecting communities through farming, food production and agribusiness”

EDAS Mission:
To innovate, facilitate, advocate, rejuvenate and motivate the community to achieve our vision.
Innovate, facilitate, advocate, rejuvinate,and motivate

Strategic Priorities:
These are the strategic priorities and major goals of our Society. They represent what we will focus on and how and where we’ll spend our time and money. It’s essentially our roadmap for the next few years. All goals and objectives must support our Vision, Mission and Values.

To innovate and educate:
EDAS will strive to be different from other Societies. We will look to new ways of attracting visitors and educating them on farming and agribusiness. We will showcase new technolgies, new programs, and new strategies to help farmers and agribusiness better manage the inherent risks in their business. We’ll foster intellectual freedom and nurture diversity in our endeavours.

Partnership development and collaboration:
We will engage in authentic and meaninful partnerships with governments, businesses, communities, and associations with whom we share a common vision and interest.

Economic Rejuvenation:
To contribute to and support the social and economic prosperity of Central Ontario and Simcoe County communities through our knowledge transfer education, activities and events.

Visitor Centered Experience:
Our patrons will be offered a unique experience that combines both fun and education. Visitors will want to advocate our services and events.

Growth in capacity:
Continually enhancing our capabilities to expand our capacity will ensure our success. Strong leadership and structure on our boards, an army of volunteers and a strong charitable foundation will foster our long term viability and sustainability.