I'm sitting in a trailer at the new Farm Progress Show site just east of Boone, Iowa. It's early - just after 6 a.m. - and I can hear the occassional back-up beep of a wheel loader, or some other piece of equipment as the final touches are put on the new show site.
When I arrived on Monday to join in with the general hubbub that is just part of the final preparation for the show, the blood starts pumping. Clear skies and cool temperatures this morning have me optimistic that we'll see a good crowd. And when they come they're going to get a look at the debut of the Central Iowa Expo, a site that includes more than 100 acres for the exhibit field alone.
As a Farm Progress team member, I have been coming to the show for more than 10 years - and before that covering equipment I've been to a fair number of these big shows. Being near the "inside" as an employee gives me but a glimpse of the level of work that must be done to put on what we sometimes call the World's Fair of agriculture.
It's a big event, sold out for 2008, and there is plenty new here to see. You'll be seeing more about the what's new of the show including the biggest corn head (18 rows), the launch of a Class IX combine (that's right they go bigger than VIII this year) and a host of equipment never before seen. And you'll find the old favorites too.
I'm lucky, I get to spend all three days at the show, busy farmers don't have the time to put in more than a day. For those of you who join us, thanks. For those that have never been, if you don't come to Boone, consider traveling to Decatur for the 2009 show (heck we're already starting to plan that one too).
In a business that has tremendous up, and down, cycles. Farm shows offer a chance to see what's new, kick the tires and get questions answered. You'll not find a more valuable resource than a well-run farm show. Enjoy!