The Rhineland Agricultural Society was organized in February 1931 to help farmers of the Rural Municipality of Rhineland and adjoining areas of southern Manitoba who were struggling with their economic situation during the depression. Although it is not a church organization, with its headquarters in Altona, most of the society's officers and members have been Mennonites. From 1931 through April 1937 it published Rhineland Agricultural Society's Quarterly. In the past the society has assisted farmers in their effort to control crop and livestock diseases and helped them obtain seeds for new and better crop varieties. The society promoted interest in agriculture by sponsoring courses at agricultural and homemaking schools, lecturing on agricultural problems, and organizing agricultural fairs. Financial support for the society has come from the Manitoba Department of Agriculture and the Rural Municipality of Rhineland, as well as from private organizations, individuals and the members of the society.
Between 1931 and the late 1960s the Rhineland Agricultural Society supported its annual fall agriculture fair, the main purpose of which was to promote new agricultural innovations and showcase new farming products. With the shift in the 1960s in the Rhineland area to a more retail and urban economy the need for an agricultural fair dwindled. It became overshadowed in 1965 with the establishment of the annual Sunflower Festival, also organized by the Rhineland Agricultural Society, in an effort to promote commerce in the area. By the mid 1970s the decreased demand for an educational agricultural society and the ongoing success of the Sunflower Festival resulted in the two entities being virtually synonymous. As of 1998 the Sunflower Festival was still a flourishing annual event.
Ens, Gerhard, The Rural Municipality of Rhineland 1884-1984. Altona, MB, 1984: 152-156, 244.
Cite This Article
Gingerich, Melvin. "Rhineland Agricultural Society." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 19 Apr 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Rhineland_Agricultural_Society&oldid=77242.
Gingerich, Melvin. (1959). Rhineland Agricultural Society. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 19 April 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Rhineland_Agricultural_Society&oldid=77242.
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