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Farmers flock to Gordyville

Farmers look at a combine displayed at Midwest Ag Expo Wednesday / CIFN photo.

GIFFORD – A decent crowd was on hand for opening day of this year’s Midwest Ag Expo at the Gordyville USA facility near Gifford Wednesday.

The two-day event always showcases the latest in agriculture – including technology, livestock and machinery. Birkey’s, a Central Illinois Case IH dealership, had a large display in the middle of the showroom floor with a Magnum 280 tractor, 470 Case IH Row Trac tractor and a model 8240 combine.

“We see a lot of our current customers come in and talk to us about things but we see a lot of people that don’t come in our door everyday,” explained Todd Bohlmann, manager of the Birkey’s Gibson City location.

Bohlmann considers the equipment market steady, despite a typical slower time after the first of the year. Bohlmann attributes the steady show crowd to last year’s good fall with high yields reported in many places.

“I think it will be a good year in farming altogether,” Bohlmann said.

Many traditions continue at the Gordyville show each year, including the buckets distributed by Stone Seed. The company gives away around 1100 buckets to show visitors.

“It’s unique that we can give out buckets and get everyone excited around the brand heading into spring,” said Brandon Campbell, Stone Seed DSM.

Campbell and others in the seed industry have been busy delivering seed to farms. If anyone still needs seed for spring, Campbell said his company can help in the decision making.

Bates Commodities of Normal is a longtime show exhibitor. In fact, the business was coming to the show long before Pete Manhart’s time there.

“All there is to do is visit the show. You don’t have other things around to get the mind off the show,” Manhart said.

Nick Aupperle, who is new to Bates Commodities, attended his first show with Bates. He grew up in LeRoy and attended Illinois State University. Aupperle is expected to take over for Manhart in the future and hopes to learn as much as possible about the industry.

“I’ve been around farming my whole life and I’m happy to see this side of the business.”

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