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Which Farm Progress Shows do you remember?Which Farm Progress Shows do you remember?

Since the first one in 1953, here’s a look at every host and location for the Farm Progress Show.

Holly Spangler

August 25, 2023

2 Min Read
A black-and-white photograph of workers installing a sign for the Farm Progress Show
FIRST EVER: The inaugural Farm Progress Show was held in 1953 on the Earl Buss farm, near Armstrong, Ill.

Farmers like coming to the Farm Progress Show, but matching year to location can sometimes test our collective memories. We’ve rounded up this list to help jog your memory. See how many of these shows you or your family attended:

  • 1953: Earl Bass, Armstrong, Ill.

  • 1954: Miles Martin, Camden, Ind.

  • 1955: Whitman Taylor, Belvidere, Ill.

  • 1956: Francis Lane, Greencastle, Ind.

  • 1957: Frank Simpson, Farmer City, Ill.

  • 1958: Warren North, Brookston, Ind.

  • 1959: Earl Elijah, Clarence, Iowa

  • 1960: Donald Baltz, Joliet, Ill.

  • 1961: Rollin Stewart, Rensselaer, Ind.

  • 1962: Everett Smith, Blairsburg, Iowa

  • 1963: James Yorty, Morton, Ill.

  • 1964: Warren North, Brookston, Ind.

  • 1965: Bill Fry, Van Horne, Iowa

  • 1966: Frank Simpson, Farmer City, Ill.

  • 1967: LeRoy Keesling, Chalmers, Ind.

  • 1968: Robert and Roger Clause, Grand Junction, Iowa

  • 1969: James Cravens, Buffalo, Ill.

  • 1970: Gerald Tarnow, Rolling Prairie, Ind.

  • 1971: Bill Fry, Van Horne, Iowa

  • 1972: Inness Farm, Galesburg, Ill.

  • 1973: Hoffman Farm, Lebanon, Ind.

  • 1974: Dale Ricke, Vincent, Iowa

  • 1975: James Willrett, Malta, Ill.

  • 1976: Caryl Shelby and Roy Johnson, Greenfield, Ind.

  • 1977: Maurice Crawford, Robert Jones, Stewart Brothers, Washington, Iowa

  • 1978 Phil Deal and Jim Micenheimer, Taylorville, Ill.

  • 1979: Lincoln Priebe, Crawfordsville, Ind.

  • 1980: Bill New, Gerlach Brothers and Ernie Otto, Nevada, Iowa

  • 1981: Schachtrup Farms, Steve Mottaz and Virginia McClouth, Brimfield, Ill.

  • 1982: Foutch, Helderle and Meadors Farms, Wolcott, Ind.

  • 1983: Dostal, Meythaler, Mollenhaur, Hoskins and Taube Farms, Marion, Iowa

  • 1984: Keith, Melson, Sepp and Rogers Farms, Fisher, Ill.

  • 1985: Carl Martin and Tom Haase Farms, Knightstown, Ind.

  • 1986: Holland, Twedt, Stall and Cory Farms, Alleman, Iowa (Canceled due to rain)

  • 1987: Holland, Twedt, Stall and Cory Farms, Alleman, Iowa

  • 1988: Ackland, Fyke, Haub, Kirk and Reiss Farms, West Brooklyn, Ill.

  • 1989: Weaver and Krom Farms, Rochester, Ind.

  • 1990: Amana Farms Inc., Amana, Iowa

  • 1991: Harris, Orris and Boggs Farms, Dalton City, Ill.

  • 1992: Sherrill, Gelfius, Friedersdorf, Arnholt, Newsom and Fiesbeck Farms, Columbus, Ind.

  • 1993: Amana Farms Inc., Amana, Iowa

  • 1994: G.J. Mecherle Trust, Pitts and Kinsella Farms, Bloomington, Ill.

  • 1995: Jarvis Farms, Inc., Terre Haute, Ind.

  • 1996: Amana Farms Inc., Amana, Iowa

  • 1997: Kennedy, Frye, Bedeker and Muffler Farms, Seneca, Ill.

  • 1998: MetLife, and Alan, Rachel, Leon and Beverly Baird, Windfall, Ind.

  • 1999: Amana Farms Inc., Amana, Iowa

  • 2000: Powers Farms/Bank One of Springfield, Cantrall, Ill.

  • 2001: Kemper and Smit Farms, Lafayette, Ind.

  • 2002: Holland, Stall, Twedt, Lande Farms, Alleman, Iowa

  • 2003: Gernand and Clark Farms, Armstrong, Ill.

  • 2004: Holland, Stall, Twedt, Lande Farms, Alleman, Iowa

  • 2005: Brix, Padrutt, Richland College, Decatur, Ill.

  • 2006: Amana Farms Inc., Amana, Iowa

In 2007, the show returned to Decatur, Ill., and started rotating between permanent sites in Decatur and Boone, Iowa. In 2020, the in-person Farm Progress Show was replaced by a virtual show, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2023 Farm Progress Show is Aug. 29-31 in Decatur, Ill. Learn more at FarmProgressShow.com, and check out the digital edition of the official program.

About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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