Plenty of history behind Gordyville

A grain bin display at this week's Midwest Ag Expo at Gordyville USA near Gifford.

GIFFORD – The facility which houses the annual Midwest Ag Expo near Gifford has a storied history.

Gordyville U.S.A., the site of this week’s expo, was named after the late Gordon Hannagan who traveled all over the U.S. selling horses.

“He knew how he wanted to build something,” recalled Gordon’s son, Edward Hannagan.

The family bought the facility in the mid-1980s when it was formerly called Jimmyville. A small auction building eventually doubled in size and things grew from there.

“We had our first sale in here I think in 1989,” said Hannagan.

Another expansion was built in 1992 and operations have been ongoing ever since with livestock auctions, tractor pulls and other events throughout the year, including the large Midwest Ag Expo each January.

Hannagan’s mom passed away a year ago so all of his siblings run Gordyville. A brother helps manage events along with Hannagan’s sisters.

“I always helped auctioneer here,” explained Hannagan. “That was one of my jobs.”

Shows such as the ag expo are typically attracted to Gordyville since you don’t come across buildings like that every day.

“They’d say, ‘Hey Gordy you want to rent that building?’ Dad said, ‘How much?’” added Hannagan.

Hannagan also works for Premier Cooperative in Royal, Illinois and was manning a booth for the co-op during the expo.

Aaron Kaeb of Illinois Grain & Seed Equipment (IGSE) from Cissna Park was standing near a large 1/16th scale grain system replica IGSE had on display at the show.

“It will be a fully-functional grain system when it is done,” said Kaeb.

He admitted it took about just as much effort to build the scale replica as it would to create a real one. The grain setup is used as a display tool for the company to educate visitors on what IGSE does.

“We wanted to use this display to show how passionate we are about what we do and show that there are still people in ag construction that take ownership and pride in the work they do.”

IGSE mainly focuses on large farm operations but does some commercial work as well. They do their own concrete work, bin erection and crane usage.

“We’ve really cut out a good space for large farm operators,” added Kaeb.

One of the more common questions Kaeb received from the display this week was how much it costs in real life.

Midwest Ag Expo took place Wednesday and Thursday at Gordyville U.S.A. with numerous farmers visiting the show exhibits which included finances, ag equipment dealers, chemical retailers and seed industry representatives. The show returned after a year off in 2021 due to COVID-19.

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