The bi-annual Central North America Trade Corridor Association Trade, Technology and Transportation conference wrapped up on Thursday, leaving the attendees from both sides of the border with a wealth of knowledge and insight into what the future holds.

The CNATCA was founded in 1991 by a man with a mission, by the name of Steven Peterson, and he wanted to salvage what was left of rural communities. He was among the delegates at the Southeast College for the event.

"Basically, I grew up in the little town of Flaxton, North Dakota, which at one time had 500 people. Now, it suffers from what I call the '70-70' theory, where there's 70 people left and they're 70 years old."

He added that he's excited to pass his role on, and expressed his wonder at how modern advancements have changed every walk of life, but especially in the industry.

"It's amazing how it's changed through technology. It just baffles me, to be truthful about it. All this stuff, to me, is the future and that's the only way we're going to keep this part of the country alive and doing positive things."

The speakers for the conference were culled from both near and far. 

Greg Bawden is an instructional designer at the University of Regina, and he discussed distance learning technology. Nicole Davis, the owner of Daybreak Mill near North Portal, spoke on her use of e-commerce in her business while Dr. Paul Gunderson, an American scientist, talked about technology in agriculture. Dave Blair, the CEO of Network Solutions and Services in Bismarck, North Dakota presented on self driving vehicles, while Marlo Anderson, a talk show host and founder of the National Day Calender in North Dakota expounded on the use of social media. Following a lunch, CyberNet Security CEO and Founder John Nagel spoke on cyber security, and Norbert Beaujot, the Found and President of SeedMaster in Saskatchewan talked about robotics and artificial intelligence in agriculture. Mike Mabin, the CEO of Agency MABU, Ed Sargeant, the Director of Creative Services and Annette Willis, Marketing Manager all augmented reality and it's application for the generations ahead.

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