by Cori Hilsgen
Agriculture enthusiasts and others will have a chance to check out innovative ideas and new machinery, visit professional vendors and listen to speakers on farm-related topics at the Central Minnesota Farm Show Feb. 27-March 1 at the River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.
The farm show has hosted thousands of visitors for 51 years.
“Last year we saw just (more than) 3,500 visitors,” said Sheri Wegner, special events coordinator.” This year we are looking for 4,000.”
Wegner said something new this year is “Topics on the Hour.” Each vendor will present on their product or services on the Carlson Room stage. Also new are cookies-and-milk tickets during the last two hours of the show each day.
This year’s event includes more than 390 booths and 200 vendors, free coffee and donuts from 9-11 a.m. each day, drawings for prizes, daily seminars and Linder Farm Network broadcasts from the show. KASM and WVAL radio stations will also be broadcasting live interviews from the showroom floor each day.
This year’s seminars include “Carrying the Load: Is your equipment fit for the road?” from 10:30-11:45 a.m. and 1:30-2:45 p.m. Tuesday. Minnesota State Patrol commercial motor-vehicle officer Dave Busse will discuss the latest rules and regulations on roadside inspections, load securement and transporting hazardous materials.
A panel will also discuss the legal side and the farmer’s point of view on water quality/buffer zones on Feb. 27.
Scott Steffes from Steffes Group, a nationally recognized leader in the auction industry, will discuss “Market Trends on Equipment – Looking Forward” from 10:30-11:45 a.m. and 1:30-2:45 p.m. Wednesday.
AgStar Financial Services senior business analyst Cathy Olson, University of Minnesota extension educator Gary Hachfeld and Stinson Leonard Street attorney Brian Schoenborn will discuss estate planning and “Planning Your Legacy” from 10:30 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3 p.m. Thursday.
Each year the Farm Show committee awards 10 Central Minnesota area high school students with $500 scholarships. The farm-show committee is expanding the scholarship program for 2018 and will match up to $5,000 for donations/sponsorships toward $1,000 scholarships for high school and post-secondary students going into an agri-related field of study.
“This is the largest indoor farm show in the upper Midwest,” Wegner said. “It provides an opportunity for the farmers to meet and visit with the area reps to see first-hand the new equipment and technology. We are the place to meet to cultivate friendships.”
Many area businesses including Stearns Electric, Powerhouse Outdoor Equipment, Cy Pfannenstein Music Service, Central Minnesota Credit Union and Minnesota Home Improvement have participated at the event in previous years.
For more information, visit the website, CentralMNFarmShow.com.