WEST FARGO, N.D. –The 39th annual edition of the Big Iron Farm Show will have its three-day run on Sept. 10-12, at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo, N.D. Billed as the region’s largest ag show, Big Iron offers a unique blend of machinery, products and services used by the ag industry, along with several educational opportunities pertaining to agriculture.
Over 600 exhibitors are expected at this year’s event, filling out more than 900 exhibits spaces, according to Bryan Schulz, general manager of the show.
“All of the exhibits are ag related. We have some people who try to justify why they should be exhibiting at the show and we have to, in turn, prove why they shouldn’t be here. We don’t want to evolve into a show of pots, pans and cosmetics,” Schulz explained.
Every year there is something new and different at Big Iron, but most of the companies unveiling new items keep that news secret until the opening day of the show, according to Emily Grunewald, the Big Iron coordinator.
“We do have a large, new exhibitor coming in this year,” she said. “Hefty Seed is really big in our area and this will be their first year at Big Iron.”
Those attending Big Iron always look forward to the daily field demonstration feature that showcases some of the latest trends throughout the industry. This year the focus will be on weeds and precision spraying.
John Nowatzki, NDSU Extension machine specialist and also a member of the Big Iron planning committee, coordinates the field demo program and noted there is increased interest in precision spraying. That interest ranges from using aerial imagery to identify any potential weed problem to spraying specific, small areas of a field for a specific weed, which can be accomplished with either ground equipment or from the air, using drones.
More information on the field demonstration segment is available in a more detailed article contained in our Big Iron Special Pull Out Edition. The Big Iron Field Demo is sponsored by Farm & Ranch Guide.
The NDSU Extension Service will staff an education center in the front lobby of the Hartl Ag Building and will cover a wide variety of ag subjects. Red River Farm Network’s Issues and Events Center will highlight the latest ag news from the USDA, as well as marketing information, the long-range weather forecast and information on land values.
Additional information on these two areas of ag education can be found in a separate article in this Big Iron section.
Many Big Iron visitors check up on their health at the North Dakota Living magazine’s Health and Safety Center and also make a donation of blood. Additional facts and figures on the services offered there are available in the health screening article found elsewhere in our Big Iron Special Pull Out Edition.
International Visitors Program
The North Dakota Trade Office began hosting international buyers during the Big Iron Farm Show in 2007, following a trade mission that brought several leaders from North Dakota agricultural equipment companies to Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia. Since the inception of the Big Iron International Visitors Program, the event has hosted over 700 international visitors from over 25 countries.
This year, members of the tour will visit the Casey and Jon Miller farm near Wahpeton, N.D., the day before Big Iron begins. During the three days of the show, there will be ample opportunity to visit the various exhibitors on a one-on-one basis, and also learn about agriculture in the region, according to Lindsey Warner, director of marketing and events for the North Dakota Trade Office.
On Wednesday, Extension staff from NDSU will discuss various crops grown in the state, including: corn, soybeans, wheat and other cereal grains, potatoes and livestock. Those sessions, along with many more, will be conducted in the International Visitors Room in the Schollander Pavilion. During the final day of the show, part of their day will be spent touring either the RDO John Deere dealership or the Titan Machinery dealership.
Start out your Big Iron day on Tuesday and Wednesday with a hearty pancake breakfast served by the Cass County Farm Bureau’s “Pancake Man.” Enjoy pancakes, sausage and a beverage in the third building west of the N building. Breakfast will be served from 7:30-10:30 a.m., both mornings and a goodwill donation will be accepted for the price of the breakfast. The breakfast is open to all Big Iron visitors.
Parking and admission to the Big Iron Farm Show is free and this is a feature that exhibitors particularly like.
“A couple years ago we offered our exhibitors a choice between having a small increase in booth rental prices or starting to charge for admission and parking, and the exhibitors chose the small hike in rental fees by a large margin,” she said.
A free shuttle service provides rides to anywhere on the Big Iron grounds and also out to the field demonstration area.
There’s no reason to leave the Big Iron grounds hungry. No matter what your taste, you will find several food vendors selling a wide variety of concessions.
Need a souvenir of your visit to Big Iron? The Schollander Pavilion is the location of the Big Iron Retail Store. Plus, a sample of this year’s commemorative tractor will be on display and the toy can be purchased at the Le Mars Toys booth on the Big Iron grounds.
Free Wi-Fi service will be provided on the grounds for those needing to stay in touch with the outside world.
For more information on events or to check out the schedule go to the Big Iron website at www.bigironfarmshow.com.