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View from the Cab: FPS is a go

While many fairs and festivals have cancelled for 2020, it appears one longstanding ag tradition will continue.

We heard the news last week that the Farm Progress Show is still planning for business as usual when it returns to Boone, Iowa September 1-3. In a time when almost every special event has been called off, this will give farmers something to look forward to ahead of the busy harvest season.

If you are up for a road trip later this summer, you will discover the nation’s largest outdoor farm event featuring exhibits from the world’s largest ag suppliers and regional and local companies displaying the newest farm equipment and products. The annual event alternates between Decatur, Illinois and Boone, Iowa. Producers from nearly every U.S. state and over 45 countries usually attend the show.

In a news release issued recently, organizers of FPS said show staff is working hard to deliver an impactful and engaging event which prioritizes the health and safety of visitors and exhibitors. New safety plans and procedures will be introduced at this year’s show such as hand sanitizer stations and enhanced cleaning practices.

The Farm Progress parent company Informa has worked with others in the industry to create a set of standards known as AllSecure in order to provide a high level of hygiene and safety at all of the company’s events. Informa holds over 600 in-person and virtual content events each year.

“It’s hard to quantify the amount of work that has gone into creation of these standards,” said Matt Jungmann, events manager for Farm Progress. “The key for farmers, exhibitors and all who plan to attend is that your safety is critical at our events. That’s really always been true but AllSecure adds that needed, extra layer during a pandemic.”

Show management apparently has the support of Iowa officials and feels hosting the event this year fulfills an important service.

“Farmers are challenged to find better ways to do everything from planting to spraying,” notes Don Tourte, senior vice president for Farm Progress. “That’s not easily done simply by sitting at home attending a virtual event. There’s a need to see this equipment up close and gain a better understanding of how it will work in their operations.”

More about the show can be found online at: I have never been out to the Iowa site but hope to get there one of these years. Otherwise, I look forward to the return to Decatur in 2021. Maybe things will be back to normal by then.

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