GIFFORD - Many of the attendees and exhibitors at this week's Midwest Ag Expo farm show commented on the impressive crowds.
This isn't always the case at farm shows, as some have cut back considerably in recent years while others have ended altogether. Gordie Golden, general manager of Load Redi in Gibson City, had a good show.
"We've got a pretty good crowd going through here now," Golden told The Central Illinois Farm Network Wednesday morning.
Load Redi repairs semi and dump trailers along with installation of tarps and electric openers on hoppers. They also do aluminum and steel welding.
"We also do liners in dump trailers," Golden added.
Load Redi gave away a stow 'n go hitch at the show which folds underneath a pickup truck. The business also had a large LED light display for visitors to see.
Dave White is a salesman for Ragland Buildings and was manning the company's booth Wednesday. The build post-frame buildings and have been in business since 1969.
"I think we were actually the first builder to set up at the show and now there are all kinds of builders," White said.
Ragland constructs farm buildings, commercial structures, residences and churches. The farm building market isn't bad currently but that's not the biggest part of the business.
"It seems like when everything else is slow, the farmers help us keep going and when the farmers are slow, everybody else helps keep us going," White stated.
White often gets questions on pricing and how they construct their buildings.
Members of the Prairie Central FFA chapter sold raffle tickets for a 1940 Farmall B which was on display as visitors entered the doors of the expo. This is the chapter's 2020 raffle tractor which was completely restored.
"We had to drain all the fluids, do engine work, wiring, painting - just everything on it was a process," admits PC FFA member Addie Raber.
Raber had a fun experience during the restoration process as she created a video documenting the work. If you missed the farm show, raffle tickets will be on sale during the upcoming Prairie Central FFA Farm and Home Show at the Upper Elementary School in Forrest Feb. 29. For more details, follow the Prairie Central FFA on Facebook or Instagram.
"The paint was donated by Fairbury Napa Auto Parts and then Adam Roberts did the painting for us," said FFA member Harrison Ifft. "It's kind of nerve-wracking, honestly, trying to sell all the tickets but it is fun and you get to meet new people."
The annual Prairie Central FFA Hog Roast and Auction is set for Mar. 19 which is when the tractor winner will be announced. The kids work together to serve the food that night and help organize the event.
"All of the members get the items for the auction. They go to local businesses and talk to them," explained Chapter President Grace Eisenmann.
March's auction is the biggest fundraising night of the year as it helps fund trips to nationals and the various state competitions.