By John Schlageck, Kansas Farm Bureau
Billed as, Nearly everything an agribusiness professional would need or want, this year’s 54th edition of the Western Farm Show lived up to its slogan.
Each year thousands of farmers, ranchers, school children, FFA youngsters and urbanites attended the two-day event at the American Royal Complex in Kansas City.
Farmers and ranchers spend hours walking around the 400,000 square feet of displays of machinery, buildings, livestock equipment, tools, feed and seed and the more than 500 exhibits.
Veteran Doniphan County farmer Neil Coufal has attended the farm show since he was a kid nearly 60 years ago. Like so many of his peers, he attends the annual event to walk around and see what’s new. He drove 70 miles to the show.
Coufal likes to look at and learn about new farm and ranch products. It’s also a day to leave the farm behind and visit with those attending the show.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Coufal says. “It’s an opportunity to see friends and neighbors.”
The Doniphan County farmer/stockman spends most of the day at the Western Farm Show. He takes his time and it usually takes hours to see all he wants to see.
A couple years back, Coufal purchased a chopper for his combine. Equipment dealers at the show often run specials.
At the 2015 edition, Coufal visited the Abilene Machine display. Here he inquired about side mirrors for his tractor.
“I pull a grain cart behind my tractor and it’s difficult to see around the sides of the cart driving down the road,” he says.
While visiting with a salesperson at the exhibit, Coufal asked for a quote and plans to buy the mirrors.
Hardi North America from Davenport, Iowa displayed their sprayers at this year’s show. The company, which originated in Ontario, specializes in sprayers.
Sprayers range from small pull type units to the large 1,300 gallon self-propelled machine with 132-foot booms. Hardi’s target audience ranges from small farmers to commercial applicators.
Jeremy O’Hare, Hardi rep., says the show offers a “terrific” venue to showcase their equipment.
While most of the farm show-goers include farmers and ranchers from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, approximately 3,000 high school students affiliated with FFA attend the two-day event as do people from the Kansas City area.
Many of the city dwellers grew up on a farm or still have parents farming. Some are still interested in seeing and learning about what’s happening in agriculture.
This show provides a great opportunity to talk to manufacturers and suppliers without experiencing the pressure of buying such equipment. It kind of blows some of us away seeing what’s going on in this industry today.
John Schlageck is a leading commentator on agriculture and rural Kansas. Born and raised on a diversified farm in northwestern Kansas, his writing reflects a lifetime of experience, knowledge and passion.
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