Wallaces Farmer

Farm Progress Show welcomes international visitors

More international visitors are slated to attend this year’s show than in past years.

Rod Swoboda

July 10, 2024

3 Min Read
3 international visitors holding flag of Brazil
INTERNATIONAL VISITORS: International interest to the Farm Progress Show, such as these folks from Brazil, is increasing. This year’s Farm Progress Show is slated to have more international visitors than in years past. Farm Progress

International interest in the Farm Progress Show is increasing this year above levels seen in recent years. Attendees from other nations will travel to the 2024 show site at Boone in central Iowa to see and learn about the latest in ag technology, equipment, and innovative products for farmers.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the U.S. in 2020, the Farm Progress Show welcomed visitors from more than 40 countries every year. In 2020, the in-person Farm Progress Show was replaced by a virtual show due to the pandemic.

In 2021, the show returned as an in-person venue and was held in Decatur, Ill. The number of foreign visitors attending dipped significantly from the previous highs, but more returned in 2022 at Boone, Iowa, and again in 2023 at Decatur. The show rotates annually between Boone and Decatur.

The 2024 Farm Progress Show will be held Aug. 27-29 at Boone, and advance ticket sale orders by international visitors are climbing above last year.

Assisting foreign guests

“We are thrilled to have the International Visitors Center at the Farm Progress Show site again this year,” says Ashley Temple, director of strategic accounts for Farm Progress Co.

The International Visitors Center is in the Wallaces Farmer Hospitality Tent. The center is staffed throughout the show to support the business and tourism side for international guests. The Iowa Economic Development Authority works with the Ames, Boone and Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureaus to help staff the site during the show.

Of course, language can be a barrier for any international visitor, but the International Visitors Center will provide resources. The center plans to have Spanish, Portuguese and other interpreters on hand this year. Indications are there will be a big increase in attendees from Brazil and China.

There is more openness to world travel now compared to several years ago, Temple notes. The IEDA involvement aims to help connect exhibitors and companies to facilitate new trade opportunities. That’s good for the overall economy.

International exhibitors

Expansion of international attendees includes exhibitors as well as farmers from across the globe. As manufacturers establish consistent success within agriculture production in their own country, it increases an opportunity to showcase how the technology applies to U.S. agriculture as well.

“The products and services provided by international exhibitors usually have a proven track record of success by the time the exhibitors showcase it at the Farm Progress Show,” Temple says. She and colleague Andy Wuebben both work with the international exhibitors, “and we are seeing a higher number of international exhibitors at the show this year,” she adds.

There are also strong programs in place from the regional or national governments to help coordinate participation for many international manufacturers. Canadian Consultants and province leadership are good examples of international advocates encouraging manufacturers to join the show. The services range from simple logistical coordination to helping the staff find exhibit space for some of the smaller companies.

“Agriculture is truly a global community with innovation that is continuously developed by farmers for farmers regardless of where the farm is located and what the crop is,” Temple says.

Helpful information sources

The guests who travel to Boone from outside the U.S. often need some extra help, including official letters of invitation, which are available from the Ames CVB through a link on the Farm Progress Show website.

International visitors can find key information at farmprogressshow.com. Companies and visitors seeking more economic insight can also visit the Iowa Economic Development Authority website, iowaeda.com/exports to find resources and contacts to connect with Iowa companies to do business.

About the Author(s)

Rod Swoboda

Rod Swoboda is a former editor of Wallaces Farmer and is now retired.

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