DECATUR – The 2019 Farm Progress show wrapped up its annual proceedings Thursday, Aug. 29, with tens of thousands of individuals from across North America making the trip to Decatur to take part.
The largest agriculture and farming show in the United States left behind a lasting impression on the farmers that came to learn from more than 600 exhibitors, share their stories and depart with a better understanding of their own craft.
“This is a great opportunity for multiple generations of folks involved in agriculture to come together and see what is new, what is coming and to meet new people,” Deputy Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture Warren Goetsch said. “Having this here in central Illinois (and in Iowa) gives the Corn Belt a shot in the arm and allows for some great opportunities for farmers in the area and allows them to make plans for the coming years.”
Technology has spurred forward in the past several decades and there is no sign of it slowing down, with farming being no exception. Scientific advances have forced farmers and ranchers to jump with it, kick-starting a wave of technology that has impacted virtually every aspect of the business.
The Progress Show featured field demonstrations of the latest technology, ranging from the world’s largest agricultural tire in the Titan-Goodyear 1400 30R46, which can sustain a maximum load of 32,000 pounds, to driver-free farming with a fully-autonomous tractor and grain-cart showing from Smart Ag. A mock gas pipeline strike was also shown in the fields for spectators to view.
Apart from the new advances in equipment that are flooding the market, the show featured a host of activities designed to educate individuals. Several marketing and investing seminars were held throughout the day with speakers from across the country coming to share their expertise.
Another exciting aspect of the show was a horse training exercise taught by Steve Lantvit. The demonstration showcased proper technique for performing several maneuvers needed to train a horse.
In terms of the science that is behind the scenes of farming, there were plenty of individuals representing globally acclaimed companies such as Bayer and Syngenta on hand to talk about and educate newcomers to the chemicals that go into protecting the crops. The information made available could turn an average-Joe farm hand into a well-tuned and crop science-educated individual in a matter of hours. Several demonstrations of soil and crop health from mold or disease and their healthy counterparts were made available.
The Progress show was not without its list of notable guest appearances with several big-name individuals drawing larger-then-life crowds. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and acclaimed country singer Easton Corbin were among the larger names spotlighted at the event.
With more than 600 exhibitors taking part in the annual event, vendors are looking to leave their mark on the influx of spectators. Many gave out free gifts bearing company insignia, some bring in live music and others hand out food. One of the things they all share though is the willingness and excitement to impart their wisdom into the lives of those prepared to lend their ears for a few minutes time.
“The Farm Progress show has been really good this year and there has been a lot of opportunity,” Precision Planting Marketing Manager Bryce Baker said. “We (at Precision Planting) aim to do education around agronomics and to teach people and the show has allowed us the chance to do just that.”
The impact the Farm Progress show leaves on the Midwest is astronomical and is something that people across the country look forward to annually. With such a vast array of opportunities on-hand at the 2019 show, it is not one that will soon be forgotten. The technology, demonstrations and educational tools provided to those that attended the three-day long event will be taken back to the farm and some will be applied to those farmers’ everyday routines, hopefully leading to higher yields across Illinois farms.
The 2020 Farm Progress show is in Boone, Iowa.