Southern Manitoba Transitions from Agricultural-Based Economy to Wedding Venue-Based Economy

MITCHELL, MB

Agriculture has been the backbone of the economy in southern Manitoba for well over a century. Over the past couple years, however, it has been radically transformed to a wedding venue-based economy, as every young couple seems to want to get married in a barn for some reason.

“Oh, sure, you’ll see plenty of barns when you take a drive out in the country,” said local economist Kevin Doerksen. “But the hogs are all gone and now they’re full of Mennonites wearing matching dresses and tuxedos. A lot has changed….the smell has stayed the same, though.”

Southern Manitoba now has more than 15,000 barns/wedding venues, including the ever popular Love Handle Acres.

“We were booked solid all summer,” said Mrs. Plett, owner of Love Handle Acres. “I think the young people these days prefer barns to churches. They look so much better on Instagram.”

Plett says they move all the hogs into the house during the wedding season, but as things wind down they’ll be moving them back into the barn for the winter.

“No one gets married in November,” said Plett. “So, I like to think of our barn as a year-round multi-purpose facility.”

Wedding venues now contribute more than ten billion dollars to the local economy, although most of this goes to photographers. As a result of the new economy, most farmers in the area have had to resign themselves to putting on ties and pretending to like dance music.

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