Inside the 47th National Farm Machinery Show
For four days every year, the National Farm Machinery Show (NFMS) covers 1.2 million sq. ft. of the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky. This annual event takes the title of the country’s largest indoor farm show.
"We hope the attendees enjoy their day and see what they’re looking for," says Harold Workman, CEO and president of the Kentucky State Fair Board, which organizes the show. "I hear repeatedly from farmers that our show provides the greatest cross-section of the farm equipment and tools they are looking for."
The Kentucky Exposition Center is the fifth largest public venue in the U.S. and also hosts other ag-related events.
"We host five of the top 10 agricultural trade shows in the country," Workman says. These include the North American International Livestock Exposition, the Green Industry and Equipment Expo, the National Junior Angus Show and the All-American Angus Breeders’ Futurity.
In all, the Kentucky Exposition Center is a 400-acre property. Right now, the management is close to signing a lease for the adjacent theme park, which could reopen as early as March 2013. There is also a signed request for proposals for a 600-room hotel that would connect to the South Wing of the Center.
Triple draw. Attendance at NFMS this year totaled more than 305,000 people. The show provides three large draws: 850 exhibiting companies, the Championship Tractor Pull and educational seminars.
The exhibiting companies range from parts suppliers to major original equipment manufacturers. It takes five to six days for the companies to move in their equipment and get their booths set up.
The Championship Tractor Pull is located in the adjacent Freedom Hall, which seats more than 19,000 people. This year’s invitation-only event was the 44th annual contest and included five performances in four days. Known as the Super Bowl of tractor pulls, this event is the oldest large-scale indoor pull in North America.
Directly next to the show floor, Farm Journal Media hosted a variety of free educational seminars. On hand were Farm Journal Field Agronomists Ken Ferrie and Missy Bauer to teach farmers how mastering the fundamentals of growth and development can help them manage the variable of uncontrollable weather. Corn College Tune-up, a 90-minute agronomic clinic, drew crowds of 250 each of the two times it was presented.
Farm Journal’s Implement & Tractor columnist Greg Peterson, better known as Machinery Pete, gave farmers an important lesson in used equipment auction prices. He says that when it comes to fetching top dollar, it’s not the age of the equipment, it’s the condition.
Against the backdrop of an ever-changing commodities market, Farm Journal Economist Bob Utterback held two seminars with more than 400 attendees at each to hear his market outlook.
Another standing-room-only crowd attended a live TV taping of the Marketing Roundtable discussion for "U.S. Farm Report," featuring commentary from Utterback, Mark Gold and Brian Doherty.
Make your plans now to attend the 48th National Farm Machinery Show, to be held Feb. 13 to 16, 2013.