Pioneering a new way to present a farm show wasn't in the cards when Matt Jungmann started on work for the Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days in 2020. But external forces have readjusted the routine for the Farm Progress events manager.
"Creating a virtual farm show that has value to farmers and our exhibitors is important to all of us," Jungmann says. And this year, more people at Farm Progress are involved in creating a show than, I believe, has happened in a very long time."
The result is the Farm Progress Virtual Experience, which opens its virtual gates on Tuesday, Sept. 15, and runs through Thursday, Sept. 17, with all premiered videos and material available to visitors into 2021.
An important focus for the virtual event, Jungmann says, is that field demonstrations are captured on the show sites where the machines would have run if the show had gone on. The first round of that work wrapped up recently at the Husker Harvest Days show site near Grand Island, Neb., where more than 30 pieces of equipment for handling cattle and making hay did their demonstrations.
"Matt has been focused on providing a view of equipment at work in the field in more detail than ever before," says Don Tourte, a senior vice president at Farm Progress. "He and the camera crew worked hard to attach cameras in key areas of machines so farmers can see just how they work. And that work is continuing as we get ready to premier this virtual show in 2020."
Several GoPro miniature action cameras were attached to each piece of equipment during the demonstration. From attaching the cameras to the tops of cattle chutes as calves were preconditioned, to finding just the right spot behind a mower to show the machine at work. In addition, cameras captured machines from the ground in a more traditional approach and in the air, too, thanks to drone coverage. And that will continue as more machines are captured at the Boone, Iowa, site of the Farm Progress Show ahead of premier day.
"Actually, a farmer watching these videos in the virtual show will get a better look at these machines in action than they would at the real field demos," Jungmann says. "That's the experience we're working to capture."
The Farm Progress Virtual Experience runs Sept. 15-17. Learn more at FarmProgressShow.com.