Farm and Power Show draws large crowds
The Steele County Fairgrounds was a beehive of activity over the weekend as the North American Farm and Power Show brought farmers from throughout the area as well as local residents to the Four Seasons Centre.
One hundred and seventy vendors filled both arenas of Four Seasons building, as well as outside displays.
The Farm and Power Show has been a March staple at the fairgrounds since 2003. Last year an estimated 22,000 people attended, said Brock Nelson, the show director for Tradexpos. The Austin-based company sponsors farm related trade shows in Wichita, Kan., Topeka, Kan. and Fort Wayne, Ind. in addition to the Owatonna show.
Nelson said that the Owatonna shows draws visitors from an approximately 100-mile radius and reaches people in Iowa and Wisconsin as well as Minnesota.
Nelson said that he anticipated that the 22,000 attendance figure would be met, if not surpassed, at this year’s show.
A staff of four from Tradexpos was on hand to make sure the program ran smoothly, he said. This year’s show was sold out, he said, with all available booths taken.
There was something for everyone at the show, and although the emphasis was on farm equipment and products, there were plenty of nonfarm types in attendance. Saturday especially drew a crowd of young families with children who enjoyed the chance to look at, and climb into, the tractors and combines.
For the implement dealers the show was an opportunity to show off the latest in equipment and technology from combines that could easily harvest thousands acres of corn to front end loaders and lawn tractors.
Some of the biggest pieces of equipment were from Ziegler Cat in Shakopee.
Jayden Scherer explained that the largest combine on display would easily handle harvesting 5,000 to 6,000 acres.
Solar energy displays were also prominent at the show.
Philip Lepetzky, owner of Green Energy Products in Springfield, Minn., was one of several vendors talking about solar power. Solar, he explained, is practical solution to keep energy costs down. His company, he said, provides solar panels for larger operations such as farms as well as for individual homeowners.
One of the newcomers to the show this year was Jared Ellefson, owner of East Prairie Labs in Flandreau, S.D. The company, he said, tests soil quality so farmers can determine how to manage their fields and what types of nutrients and how much need to be applied for maximum yield.
For those interested in educational aspects of agriculture, University of Minnesota Extension personnel were on hand to lead seminars on a variety of topics including cover crops, farm business success planning, nitrogen management and manure management.
Not all vendors were involved in promoting the latest in farm technology.
Lee Sackett and his staff restore old tractors at their shop in Waltham and his display at the show included a restored 1937 John Deere “B” tractor. Lee J. Sackett, Inc. was started in 2002 and since then has grown into a company with 16 employees. Sackett said the company has completed approximately 500 projects since it started.
Another vendor promoting older farm equipment was the Upper Midwest A-C Club. This group is about all things Allis-Chalmers and was encouraging people to attend the annual Orange Spectacular in July in Hutchinson.
With another successful Farm and Power Show history, Tradexpos now turns its attention to the 2020 show, scheduled for March 19-21, 2020.