Happy Birthday, MAGIE!

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The summer trade show season is well underway. Across the country, hundreds of ag retailers and their grower-customers are attending various events designed to give everyone a good look at what equipment is currently out there to help with their business operations and offer a sneak peak at what new products will soon be available.

This year is slightly more special, however. Next week, more than 1,000 visitors will gather at the fairgrounds in Bloomington, IL, for the annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE). In 2011, this premier trade show is celebrating its 30th anniversary and the show promises to be extra special because of this.

“Through 30 years of changing technologies, MAGIE has been the venue in the Central U.S. to see what the equipment and service providers have to offer to the ag retail sector,” says Jean Payne, president of the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association, the show’s sponsor. “The changes over the years in equipment have been drastic, but MAGIE has been a constant.”

For me, MAGIE has been a regular stop during my summer travel season for the past 10 years. Of course, none is more memorable than my first show – MAGIE 2001. That year, the show took place not in late August, but in mid-September (September 12-13 to be exact). It was memorable because the day I was to leave for the show ended up being one of the infamous days in American history – 9/11. Instead of flying to the event, I ended up hitching a ride with Larry Yargus of Yargus Manufacturing. The rest of my staff ended up not attending the show.

For those of us who made it, the event seemed almost dream-like, with most folks trying to contact loved ones around the country on overworked cell phone systems and a generally somber mood throughout the days.

In 2011, I’m certain the mood at MAGIE will be fairly upbeat, with market conditions looking promising for the fall and a few festivities planned to celebrate the show’s anniversary.

If you haven’t already made your plans to attend this year’s MAGIE show, I encourage you to do so. It will be held August 24-25 and you can get more information by visiting www.ifca.com.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Sfiligoj is the Editor for both CropLife and CropLife IRON magazines. He travels regularly to cover industry events and has been dedicated to the ag retail industry since he joined the staff in 2000.

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