It’s mid-January and the winter show season has officially kicked off. Last week, equipment lovers could have spent their time in Madison, WI, at the annual Wisconsin Crop Management Conference, inspecting the latest examples of Big IRON up close. This week, ag retailers will gather en mass for the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) meeting in Peoria, IL, looking for product information from trade show exhibitors as well as practical information on marketplace trends and the latest regulatory requirements.
“It doesn’t matter what you are looking for, we tend to have someone or a company here at our event that can fulfill that need,” says Jean Payne, IFCA president.
Of course, the biggest trade show events of the winter season revolve around equipment and attract lots of visitors. In mid-February, virtually the entire ag industry seemingly heads to Louisville, KY, for the annual National Farm Machinery Show and Tractor Pull. According to its organizers, this event is attended by more than 300,000 ag-interested folks of all ages during its four-day run. Many of the equipment manufacturers debut their newest products in Louisville because they know they will have a built-in audience for its launch.
Later in the winter, commodity association take center stage with the annual Commodity Classic show. This year’s event will be held in Nashville, TN, and promises to bring out all several thousand attendees looking for information on ag trends in the coming season. There, of course, is also a fair amount of equipment waiting to be seen on the trade show floor.
So if you are just itching for that first hint of spring during this long winter, I would encourage you to attend one of these events, or the myriad others that take place this time of year. After all, there’s nothing like getting an early start on the busy season ahead of us all!