Corn prices are almost half of what they were last year at the start of the Indiana/Illinois Farm Show, but exhibitors are standing in line to get into this show. At 9am this on Tuesday, the doors open on the 35th annual farm show. Show manager Dick Sherman told HAT that, again this year, the show is a sellout, “Not only are we sold out but we have the longest waiting list we have ever had to get into the show.” He said he has filled every inch of the 470,000 square foot West Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and still has companies calling that wish to exhibit at the show, “I really feel bad about having to turn these people away.” Across the country, attendance by both exhibitors and farmers at farm shows has been strong despite a tightening farm economy.
What makes this show different than many other farm shows is that the big equipment is on the show floor, “Many shows are 10×10 literature shows where they can only show you a picture of the equipment. Here, because of the size of the building, we all the big equipment on display.” The ceilings of the building are 40 feet high, the doors are 17 feet wide, so it can accommodate the large tractors, combines, and self propelled sprayers. Sherman says all of the major farm equipment manufacturers will be represented at the show, “Running right down the center of the show floor is a path 50 feet wide and 700 feet long display area featuring all the big equipment.”
New to the show this year are several exhibits of farmer inventors, “I think farmers will be very interested to see what some other farmers have invented,” Sherman said. In addition, a lot of high technology will be on display, from GPS systems to new seed and planting technology. Sherman says the show is a nice balance of big equipment and high technology. Admission to the show is free with only a $5 fee for parking at the State Fairgrounds.
Again this year is a great line up of HAT free seminars. “This year the seminar series is really outstanding,” said Sherman. “Plowing Straight in an Uneven Economy” is the theme for the annual seminar series presented by Hoosier Ag Today and sponsored by Sikich LLP. The series of free seminars will bring together some of the best minds in Indiana agriculture to give growers an outlook at what kind of issues they are going to have to deal with in the next growing season. The Tuesday seminar will focus on business and will feature a group of accountants, attorneys, and bankers addressing a variety of challenges including tax planning, estate planning, credit and interest rate outlooks, and legal and regulatory issues. The Wednesday seminar will feature Indiana Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and Purdue Ag Economist Dr. Chris Hurt with a special and powerful policy and price outlook. The Farm show runs through Thursday.