The 10th annual Farm News Ag Show - which opens this morning at 9 a.m. in the Career Education Building at Iowa Central Community College - promises to not only offer something for everyone interested in agriculture, but it also can boast the largest number of vendors onsite since the show was begun 10 years ago.
Dana Lantz, Farm News advertising manager, said many previous vendors returned this year.
"We have more companies here than we've ever had," he said.
-Messenger photos by Hans Madsen
Bruce Shimkat, president of Shimkat Motors, helps employee Wes Doyle hang up the company banner Tuesday afternoon in the Career Education Building at Iowa Central Community College as they set up for 10th annual Farm News Ag Show. The show is open today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.
Lantz credits that to the excellent turnout the show had last year - he said almost 3,000 visitors went through the doors for the free show. He also attributes it to good economic news.
"The agricultural economy is very, very strong," he said.
Besides talking with the many vendors and seeing their products, featured speakers will share their expertise in biofuels, wind energy, weather expectations, ag investments, the lighter side of farm life and dealing with the challenges of 300-bushel-an-acre corn crops.
If you go
WHAT: 10th Annual Farm News Ag Show
WHEN: Today 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Career Education Building, Iowa Central
Register for a four-day, three-night trip to Las Vegas from IntelliAir, Travel and Transport Vacations and Farm News, and a Bobcat pressure washer from R & J Material Handling.
Free pancake breakfast Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., courtesy of Lundell Plastics Corp.
Lunch both days, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., hosted by the Webster County Pork Producers and the Webster County Beef Producers with service by the Fort Dodge Area Chamber of Commerce Ag Relations Task Force. For more information and a full schedule of speakers see www.farm-news.com
"This should be a great show," Lantz said.
Bruce Shimkat, president of Shimkat Motors, gave several reasons why he likes to attend the show.
"This is a good opportunity to showcase our products," the automotive dealer said. "It's also local and a chance for us to support the community."
The company has several new trucks on display that Shimkat said are highly suited to farm use.
"Agriculture is a large part of the Fort Dodge economy," he said, "It's important to us to support that."
John Pitzer, owner of Pitzer Sales, in Glenwood, has been attending the show for several years and enjoys coming back.
"We always have a good show here," he said.
Pitzer sells metal-working equipment geared to the needs of farm shops.
Pitzer attend the show not only to market his products, but to visit with the other vendors and rekindle the friendships he's formed with his customers over the years.
Non-ag vendors round out the show and offer something for the family.
Steve Erickson, who sells the Kitchen Craft line of waterless cookware, is attending the show for the first time, although other representatives of his firm have been here before.
"This will be a great show," he predicted Tuesday. "It's historically been good for our company."
Cookware, he said, is not just for women.
"It's a fun show for everyone," Erickson said. "Men cook too."
Just for fun vendors will include John Kauffman, of Eagle Grove, who display his handcrafted, 1/16th-scale farm buildings. He creates them from wood, heavy-duty hinges and nontoxic paint.
They are meant to be played with the old-fashioned way.
"You have to let your kids use their imagination," Kauffman said. "My stuff is made to last."
While he seeks inspiration from a number of sources, a major one is his own childhood.
"I think of what was cool when I was a kid," he said.
He takes commissions and can work from photographs, he said.
For a full schedule of Ag Show events, see www.farm-news.com.
Contact Hans Madsen at (515) 573-2141 firstname.lastname@example.org