GREAT FALLS, Mont. – Big Sky Country’s biggest ag tradeshow, the Montana Agriculture and Industrial Exhibit (MAGIE), will be celebrating its 40th year in 2020. The event, set to run Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 16-18, will be nothing short of impressive.

The MAGIE, with vendors displaying in and around the Pacific Steel and Recycling Arena at the Montana ExpoPark, draws exhibitors and vendors from across the northwest, the Dakotas and Canada. Absolutely anything and everything that has to do with agriculture will be on display, from portable corral systems to state-of-the-art precision ag technology.

The MAGIE has been produced by 560 KMON AM Radio since the beginning. In its early years, the MAGIE was actually a summer event, held in conjunction with the Montana State Fair. Somewhere along the way it was proposed to make the MAGIE a winter event and thus it has remained one ever since.

Ron Korb, general manager for Central Montana Radio, has helped put on the MAGIE for many years. The upcoming 2020 show will be the 22nd MAGIE he has been able to be a part of. He explains, it takes quite a bit of work to put on a show of this size.

“We will start working on the 2021 show just as soon as the 2020 show is over,” he explained.

Part of Korb’s job includes mapping out the entire show and logistically placing each and every one of the booths. Every year there averages between 180 and 200 equipment, chemical, seed and agribusiness vendors.

Move in day for the MAGIE can be kind of hectic, and there is a lot of timing involved, but Korb says “it is cool to watch it all come together.”

Korb emphasized how a show of this scale would not at all be possible without the wonderful vendors, some of whom have been a part of the MAGIE since the beginning. In addition, the MAGIE has some incredible day sponsors. Watson Irrigation will sponsor Thursday, Hoven Equipment sponsors Friday and CHS Big Sky in partnership with CHS Cut Bank Group will sponsor Saturday.

Stay tuned to 560 KMON throughout the MAGIE to hear Randy Bogden interview the day’s sponsor, live and on air.

Agriculture is a profession steeped in tradition and built on the pride of hard-working people, dedicated to producing food and fiber for the betterment of society. In contrast, farming and ranching is an ever-evolving industry with cutting edge technology leading the way to a more efficient and reliable production systems. Vendors at the MAGIE will be a mix of both, displaying tried and true products, as well as the latest and greatest in equipment.

“The MAGIE is a great opportunity to relive the old and learn about the new,” Bogden said.

Also important to the MAGIE is the social atmosphere it provides. Winters in Montana can be long, so often producers find themselves at the MAGIE, eyeing equipment to add to their “wish list,” while simultaneously catching up with old friends and forging relations with new ones. With over 10,000 people expected to attend the three-day show, familiar faces are bound to show up.

“To me the MAGIE is kind of like a family reunion, it is so much more then just an ag tradeshow,” Korb said.

Even though the MAGIE has been an ag show powerhouse for 40 years, Korb says they aren’t really doing anything special to mark the anniversary. Rather, coordinators hope that the grandeur of yet another show will be celebration enough. 

The MAGIE ag show truly is a gathering, with like-minded individuals coming together to collaborate and find ways to make Montana agriculture even better. Doors open at 9 a.m. for all three days of the show, concluding on Saturday at 4 p.m.

The MAGIE – an ag show so big, it takes three days just to see it all.

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