Last year, I was amazed when I saw the Boone, Iowa Farm Progress Show for the first time. I showed up the day before the show started. Exhibitors, show staff and volunteers were scurrying every which way, putting the final touches on things.
This year, I've seen the site transform before my eyes. On June 1, the seed plots went in. Little else was on the grounds, except for the grain bins and a few permanent buildings.
Later that month, tent crews began driving stakes, assembling supports and adding cover panels. It's very fascinating to watch them work. There's many, "Oh, that's how they do that," moments.
Exhibitors began to show up in late June/early July. First on the grounds were those with a lot of work to get done. Sukup and GSI both arrived early. When you see their exhibits, consider they started with just the grain bins. That will explain why they started setting up so early.
Rock also started arriving in July. A lot of exhibitors added gravel this year. It's a big investment that not only makes the show grounds look better, but also takes rainy weather out of the equation.
In August, things really ramped up. Tents were popping up like dandelions after a spring rain. Landscaping crews started beautifying the grounds with flowers, grasses and small trees.
Plus, exhibitors started adding signage. When you walk onto the site, you'll notice a lot of exhibitors have large signs, anchored in concrete. While these seem permanent, most are disassembled after the show. It keeps the elements from wearing on them.
Around mid-August, equipment started arriving. At first, a combine would show up here or there. Later in the month, entire tractor lines were being trucked in.
The show officially starts this coming Tuesday. It runs Sept. 1-3. When you arrive, you'll probably be overwhelmed by the sites and sounds. Just remember, prep work started months ago. It's all part of bringing a world-class farm show to Decatur.
By the way, yesterday I had a taste of the food provided by the official show caterer. In a word, "delicious."
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