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THE PLACE TO BE: See you in Decatur, Ill., Aug. 27-29. I’ll be searching for new products so we can tell you about them — just in case you don’t make it to every exhibit!

Tom’s top 10 reasons to attend 2019 Farm Progress Show

Don’t miss out on the modern version of the “world’s fair of agriculture.”

The Farm Progress Show is less than a three-hour drive from downtown Indianapolis. That should make it either a doable one-day outing or a great two-day trip. This year’s show is Aug. 27-29 near Decatur, Ill.

You may have your own reasons why you love going to the Farm Progress Show. I may be biased, but I’ve been to well over half of all Farm Progress Shows — not bad, considering the first one was held in 1953, the year I was born. Here are my top 10 reasons why you should attend the 2019 show.

10. Corn will be harvested. It’s one of the few places in Indiana or Illinois this year where corn will potentially be ready for harvest the last week of August. Predictions indicate it may be high in moisture but should be harvestable. At any rate, some of the corn at the show site will be harvested for silage if it isn’t ready to combine to make room for other activities to happen.

9. Watch one-of-a-kind mock pipeline strike. At the end of the tiling demonstrations each day, there will be a mock strike of a pipeline to emphasize the need for safety. Plans call for rescue teams with lights and sirens. Just know it’s not real!

8. Be a bidder. I’m a sucker for auctions. I will be at the Titan Tire FFA Auction at 2 p.m. CT on Aug. 28 at the Titan Tire Booth. I may not buy tires, but you might want to. I’ll see what else is up for bids.

7. Judge soil. You may not make the trek over to the soil pits, but encourage your local FFA chapter to come compete on Aug. 27. This is the only FFA soils judging contest in the country, as far as we know, that offers cash prizes, thanks to Farm Credit Services.

6. Talk to real-life inventors. Several exhibitors in the Varied Industry Tents sell products they’ve invented themselves, often first for their own farm. Take time to pick the brains of some of agriculture’s most inquisitive people.

5. Watch future technology at work. Smart Ag intends to have AutoCart operating in the Ride ’n’ Drive area, and hopefully in the field. It’s a tractor driving itself, pulling a grain cart, with no one onboard.

4. Relax in air-conditioning! Show organizers estimate roughly 30 companies will have air-conditioned tents this year. In the Corteva Agriscience display, you can see not only products of the future but also the Farm Progress Show “tent” of the future! You may think you’re in your living room.

3. See prototypes you can’t even buy yet. You don’t have to look hard to find companies showing prototypes that aren’t in production yet. It’s the future unfolding before your eyes. Two years ago, one company displayed a 3D printer model of a product it intended to make.

2. Get free stuff. Grab a bag and fill it with literature of everything you want to follow up on later. Some companies will hand you a free giveaway. Others offer free popcorn. The carnival-like atmosphere is contagious.

1. Visit with fellow Hoosiers! There will be plenty of Hoosiers at the show — some visiting like yourself, others exhibiting products. Look for someone you know in the Beck’s building, Equipment Technologies lot, Hurricane Ditcher exhibit, CountryMark tent and the list goes on. They’ll be looking for you!

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