Valorie Eversole Daily Union Editor
Shelbyville Daily Union
---- — Anyone with an interest in agriculture will find a something of interest at this year’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur.
The show will be open Tuesday, August 27, through Thursday, August 29 at Progress City near Richland Community College in Decatur.
The Farm Progress Show is an annual event that shares permanent locations between Decatur and Boone, Iowa. Decatur has hosted the event the odd years since 2005. More than 600 exhibitors, including farming and livestock equipment, seed, bins, and building companies, arts and crafts, and demonstration plots fill the 75 acres.
What used to be a tent city has taken on a more permanent feel with buildings being erected on the site. Asphalt roads with street names help visitors more easily locate exhibits they would like to see.
“More and more exhibits have become permanent,” said Matt Jungman, national event manager. “There have been lots of improvements to the permanent exhibits with buildings, concrete, and graveled lots using colored design.”
The show has also grown in space, expanding to the annex area to the west of the main show grounds. The show attracts crowds from across the nation and internationally.
“We have people from 37 foreign countries registered to attend the event,” Jungman said.
The show is using technology to help visitors find the exhibits they are interested in by incorporating aps for iPhones and Android phones; interactive map search on farmprogressshow.com; using a jumbotron for announcements.
“The interactive map allows you to map out your day,” said Dena Morgan, marketing specialist for the Farm Progress Show.
Some of the highlights this year include a concert by Chris Cagle Wednesday, August 28, at Richland Community College; tractor pull at the Macon County fairgrounds Monday and Tuesday, and a tiling demonstration in a neighboring field.
The field demonstration normally held during the Farm Progress Show has been affected by the cooler, wetter summer experienced this year. The demonstration is one of the main attractions at the show.
“The corn is not matured enough for this show. The corn looks good - it’s just not mature enough yet,” Jungman said. “Despite the best efforts of our host farmers, field demonstration corn planting was delayed due to the wet/cold spring; most of the corn was planted on May 15. Had temperatures through June and July been average to above average, we would have had no problem harvesting corn in normal moisture ranges.
Jungman said that machinery will be displayed in a runway show to replace the demonstration. The runway show will also have activities and fun for the crowd.
The Farm Progress Show also works to give back to the communities who host the show. A food drive will be held during the event with a goal of 10,000 pounds of food for local food pantries. Monsanto and the Warren Buffet Foundation have pledged matching funds which could potentially bring in $20,000 to the pantries.
An auction will also be held to benefit Illinois and Indiana FFA programs.
The exhibit field is open to visitors 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $15 for adults, $8 for ages 13-17, and free for ages 12 and under. Discounted advance adult admission tickets are available now on the show’s website, www.FarmProgressShow.com. The website also features a full schedule of events