Every year, one of the major highlights of my career as an ag journalist is attending the Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE). For more than two decades now, MAGIE has been the premier summer trade show event, bringing virtually every major supplier to the fairgrounds in Bloomington, IL, to display their product line-ups and discuss their company services. From attracting just over 1,000 attendees back in the early 2000s (when the show was held at the airport in Danville, IL), MAGIE has steadily grown to seeing more than twice that number visit each year from across the lower 48 states and several dozen countries from around the world.
And for a trade journalist such as myself, MAGIE represents a great way to “take the pulse” of the ag retail industry for a given year. It’s far enough away from the spring rush and early summer weather events (if there were any, that is) to allow those of us who regularly follow the ag retail marketplace to get a pretty accurate reading on what kind of year agricultural will ultimately end up experiencing. Given how quickly the past few agricultural industry growth/decline cycles have progressed, figuring out if suppliers, ag retailers, and their grower-customers will be in “a spending or savings mood” going forward is never a bad thing. Plus, if there are any new products being planned for the upcoming growing season, companies at MAGIE tend to have them on hand for attendees “to try for themselves.”
So if your end of August plans don’t currently include a stop at the 2016 MAGIE show, I would encourage you to make the time to go. You won’t be disappointed. I never am.