The show goes on
By KRISS NELSON
DES MOINES – The Iowa Ag Expo – formally known as the Iowa Power Farming Show is a go and will be the first major indoor farm show to be held since last spring.
The third largest indoor U.S. farm show is presented by Farm Credit Services of America and Ag Direct and will be held Feb. 2-4 in downtown Des Moines at the Iowa Events Center. Hours are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wedesday, Feb. 2 and 3; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4.
Cindy Feldman, director of marketing for the Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association said the Iowa Ag Expo will be held on six floors throughout the complex and they are expecting a full show with COVID protocols put into place.
“COVID protocol highlights include wider aisles, proper sanitation and added cleaning, handing out of masks and hand sanitizer at all entrances and information booths, suggested advance ordering of box lunches delivered directly to exhibitor booths along with larger eating areas dispersed around the Expo for proper social distancing,” said Feldman.
Feldman said they have worked directly with the Iowa Events Center, the city of Des Moines and the Polk County Public Health Department to ensure they are following all COVID 19 safety protocols.
“It takes everybody working together to make a great show and it’s not different when you have COVID,” she said. “We have all gotten used to wearing masks. We are looking forward to taking them off, but during this time, where some are vaccinated and some aren’t, it’s time to accrue to the rules — so we ask if you don’t feel well — stay home. If you do feel well, social distance properly, wear your masks, wash your hands often. That is what we are doing as a staff as well to stay healthy and provide a great show for farmers and producers. Other shows are happening. Live events are starting to happen. Everyone is learning how to do them safely. Just like how people are learning to go back to church or to the grocery store safely.”
Feldman said she recently visited the DAKOTA Farm Show in Vermillion, South Dakota.
“That was the first ag show of the new year,” she said. “The second farm show of the new year will be in Sioux Falls. While there I talked to over 20 exhibitors that will also be attending the Iowa Ag Expo and got great feedback. Everyone had positive comments on the event said the quality of the attendees was good. I left Vermillion with renewed energy, feeling that we can get a good farmer turnout.”
For several years the annual farm show has been known as the Iowa Power Farmer Show.
“We thought it was time that the name change evolved with the field of agriculture,” said Feldman. “There’s been three segments in agriculture over the last several years – anywhere from horse drawn plow to mechanicalized farming equipment, so then we went into the power phase of agriculture which is why we changed our name to Iowa Power Farming Show — because everything was about horsepower. This name now, the Iowa Ag Expo better reflects the evolution of agriculture.”
The Iowa Ag Expo continues to showcase only ag-related products including 30 new exhibitors.
“We have everything from big iron down to tech, inputs, chem, farm management, specialty manufacturers — we got it all under one complex, with six floors of exhibits to help you manage costs, lower your inputs and be profitable as a farmer,” said Feldman.
New this year, the U.S. Hemp Growers have been invited to exhibit at the Iowa Ag Expo. Feldman said they will be conducting seminars to educate producers on the opportunity in the industry to grow hemp.
Producers are encouraged to apply online at iowaagexpo.com for early registration and $5 off the regular admission of $10.
Feldman said early registrations have been steadily coming in from producers from Iowa and surrounding stages.
“A lot of these early registrations have been from larger farming operations,” she said. “It’s likely $4.90 a bushel corn and $13.30 a bushel soybeans will continue to motivate producers to attend the Expo.”
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