Watching field demonstrations of hay cutting, raking, baling and chopping impressed Marc Hernke, Cannon Falls, when he attended the Farm Progress Hay Expo in June 2009 in Wisconsin.
"You could see a lot of different haying equipment, sit in cabs and watch all these field demonstrations with the newest equipment," Hernke recalls. "I liked that. We didn't have anything like it in Minnesota."
Hernke spent some time that day talking with field demo vendors and Farm Progress show representatives. Later, he conferred with his family and had Farm Progress reps visit their 2,000-acre farm. Location and site were deemed perfect for the show, which draws thousands of visitors from across the country. As a result, Hernke Inc. will be hosting the first-ever Hay Expo in Minnesota.
The Hernkes have set aside 150 acres for Expo. Sections of fields will be used for mowing, conditioning, baling and chopping equipment demonstrations. A 10-acre exhibit site will display balers, choppers, mower-conditioners, tedders, baggers, rakes, telehandlers, bale stackers, hay dryers and more. In addition to the outdoor lots, the Haying Industries Tent will feature other products and services.
The farm and show site is located 7 miles south of Cannon Falls, just west of Highway 52 on County Road 1.
This is the 25th annual Hay Expo for Farm Progress Cos., publisher of the three host magazines of the event—The Farmer, Wallaces Farmer and Wisconsin Agriculturalist. In the past, the expo site has rotated among farms located in Iowa and Wisconsin. Now it's finally coming to Minnesota, which ranks 10th nationally in all-hay production, according to the 2010 Minnesota Agricultural Statistics. In 2009, state farmers harvested 3.9 million tons of alfalfa on 1.3 million acres. Farmers harvested 1.35 million tons of other hay on 750,000 acres.