If you are involved in the ag retail marketplace and love Big IRON, this is a special week. Starting on Wednesday, August 22, more than 1,000 visitors will descend upon the Fairgrounds in Bloomington, IL, for the annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition (better known as “MAGIE” to her friends). This will officially start the busy summer show season, which will continue in rapid-fire order with the Farm Progress Show, Farm Science Review, Husker Harvest Days and the like through the middle of October.
Still, for me, being first is something special. MAGIE usually brings out all kinds of new product introductions (and this year will be no exception as companies such as GVM and Miller-St. Nazianz will debut new machines), as well as a few surprise products/visitors along the way. There will also be plenty of ride-and-drives, as lovers of Big IRON get their first chances to test out some of the latest and greatest sprayers the industry has to offer.
But, not to sound immodest, a major highlight of this first day comes in the early evening as attendees gather for the show’s opening mixer. There is food, drinks and singing, plus plenty of prizes given out by the show’s sponsor, the Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association. In addition, for the past five years, our equipment-devoted magazine, CropLife IRON, has handed out the ShowStopper Award. This is given to that one product at the MAGIE show that literally stops attendee traffic, keeping everyone buzzing all day long.
In the past, the winning of the ShowStopper Award was based upon casual comments and informal interviews of attendees at the show. This year, however, there will be a pair of ladies wearing “Team ShowStopper” gear with formal voting ballots polling visitors to determine the winner. If you plan to be at the show and want to vote for your favorite “showstopping” product, please look for them.
I hope to see many of you in Bloomington this week. Let the summer show season begin!