February is the time of year to make a trip to the National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS) in Louisville, Ky. Before heading out to the fields for planting, come see row after row of new iron at the 46th annual event from Feb. 16 to 19. As the largest indoor farm show in the country, this is definitely a show where you can kick some tires.
An event like no other. The Kentucky Exposition Center, home of NFMS, has grown through a series of hall renovations and expansions in the past couple of years. With 1.2 million sq. ft. of exhibition space and more than 850 exhibitors, the 2011 show will have something for every farmer’s interest.
Exhibits include grain-handling and storage equipment; computers and electronics; tractors and combines; tillage implements; planting, fertilizing and spraying equipment; alternative energy; trucks and trailers; irrigation equipment; livestock feeding and handling equipment; buildings, sheds and fencing; shop tools and more.
During the four-day show, exhibit halls are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free; parking is $8. RV parking is available but requires advance registration.
High-power fun. In 2011, NFMS will host the 43rd annual Championship Tractor Pull, sponsored by Syngenta. Each night at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., the adjacent Freedom Hall is home to the contest, which attracts the best competitors in the country with more than $200,000 in prize money. This event packs the arena every year, so be sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. You can call (800) 745-3000 or go to www.ticketmaster.com.
Meet our staff. Make sure to stop by Booth 128 in South Wing A and meet our editors and contributing columnists. There will also be a live taping of the Marketing Roundtable segment of “U.S. Farm Report.” Free 90-minute seminars will be conducted by Farm Journal Economist Bob Utterback, Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie and Associate Field Agronomist Missy Bauer in the South Wing conference center. New this year is a seminar on used iron market trends by Implement & Tractor columnist Greg Peterson.
Make a trip of it. The machinery show lasts only four days, so if you already have someone lined up to do your chores, take advantage of the time away from the farm and check out the activities Louisville has to offer. Home of Louisville Slugger baseball bats, the Kentucky Derby and educational centers, the city and surrounding area offer plenty to do.
Check out the websites listed below for more ideas about things to do and places to go. For more about the city’s attractions, contact the Louisville Visitors Bureau by calling (800) 626-5646 or writing to 1 Riverfront Plaza, 401 West Main St., Suite 2300, Louisville, KY 40202. See you in Louisville!
Know Before You Go
Check out these websites for more information when making your plans to attend the?National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky.:
- National Farm?Machinery Show
- Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby
- Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory
- Louisville Science Center
- Belle of Louisville riverboat cruises
- Frazier International History Museum
- Howard Steamboat Museum and historic home
- Marengo Cave National Landmark on Blue River
- Locust Grove historic home
- Farmington Historic Plantation
- Local restaurants found only in Louisville
The Kentucky Exposition Center is at the junction of Interstates I-65 and I-264. Follow these directions to make your way to the Expo Center.
From I-65 northbound: Exit at Fair/Expo Center (Exit 131B). Follow signs to the main gate, Gate 1.
From I-65 southbound: Take Exit 132 to Crittenden Drive and merge to the left. Gate 4 to the Fair/Expo Center will be on the left. To enter Gate 1 (main gate), go past Exit 132 and continue approximately ¼ mile down I-65 to Exit 131B. Follow the Fair/Expo Center signs to Gate 1.
From I-264 westbound: Exit at the Fair/Expo Center (Exit 11) and follow the signs to Gate 1 (main gate). If you continue on I-264, you can exit at Crittenden Drive to enter Gates 2, 3 or 4. To access Preston Highway (Route 61), take Exit 12. Turn right off the exit ramp and follow Preston Highway to Gate 6, which will be on the left.
From I-264 eastbound: Exit at the Fair/Expo Center (Exit 11) to Crittenden Drive. Proceed to Gates 2,
3 and 4, which will be on the right. If you continue past the Crittenden Drive exit on I-264, exit at the Fair/Expo Center (Exit 12) and follow the signs to Gate 1 (main gate).