Things I Learned from 2011 Farm Shows

Farmer Iron

I made it to two major shows this year, and learned a few things.

Published on: October 24, 2011

Farm shows are an important, and fun, part of my job. Getting paid to be at a show to see the latest farm tech, well I have one fellow staffer - he's in sales - that says when he dies he wants to come back as an editor. Need I say more?

This year I made it to two of the family of fall shows, Farm Progress Show (which we own) and the Sunbelt Ag Expo (where Farm Progress supports the Southeast Farmer of the Year Program - which is not unlike our Master Farmer programs around the country). I got plenty of information on Husker Harvest Days (I am a Facebook fan for the event), and good info from Ohio Farm Science Review.

This was a big year for fall farm shows, given where prices are, the mood is positive. And it appears you wanted to look at equipment. Despite a wide range of weather - from hot days in Decatur to frigid Georgia weather (sounds impossible, it's not).

Here are a few things I picked up:

  1. There's still nothing like an old fashioned arena show to draw a crowd.
  2. Exhibitors know the value of live music to draw a crowd.
  3. Free popcorn will still bring people into your exhibit.
  4. Even as the Internet grows as an information source, you still want to kick some tires.
  5. Little boys always want to sit in the big seat.
  6. Ride n' Drive areas are bigger than ever.
  7. High school youth love those yardsticks...still.
  8. A little rain never kept a farmer from a show if he was planning to go.
  9. Decatur, Ill., is not always balmy in August.
  10. Husker Harvest Days can draw a crowd even when cool, soggy weather sets in.
  11. Georgia is not always warm in October.
  12. FFA kids are wearing cooler shirts every year.
  13. No one likes golf cars but people keep renting them.
  14. Nothing beats an outdoor farm show as a one-stop event for keeping yourself informed about the latest equipment.

Just a few conclusions from this year's shows. If you have some share them below.