MORGAN, Minn. – While Farmfest 2019 is going to be geared towards all farmers across the state, a new pavilion being added this year, the Livestock tent, will highlight and provide demonstrations specifically meant to education and help livestock producers.
“Farmfest has always been a show that focuses most of its exhibit area towards row crop and crop production in general, with exhibitors that focus on livestock needs, but we have not, up until this year, actually expanded the opportunity to highlight some of that equipment or some of those companies that might have animal health related products,” said John Hendel, director of event sales with IDEAg, during a recent phone interview.
Livestock producer-run organizations have always had a strong presence at Farmfest. Both the Minnesota Cattlemen and the Minnesota Pork Board have large tents and offer great meals and education.
The new livestock tent and demonstration area will highlight those companies and exhibitors with livestock specific information and equipment. This includes animal health products, nutritionists, or equipment handling. Exhibitors will have information for all forms of livestock that Minnesota has to offer – beef, dairy, pigs and poultry.
Everyday at 11:00 a.m., and 1:30 p.m., the livestock area will feature cattle chute demonstrations with at least three different style chute setups and live cattle to be worked through.
“Every chute works or is designed a little bit different. How you catch the animal might be different with one chute than another,” said Hendel. “Some of them can be turned and rotated a little bit more for easier care of hooves, or some of them you might be able to open up the side and access the animal a little bit easier than you can with another one.”
The goal of the cattle chute demonstrations is to give livestock growers the chance to compare and contrast different cattle chute styles side-by-side. They will be able to see exactly how each one operates and see the different features they have to offer.
There will be two or three different companies bringing in different styles of chutes as well as live cattle to be worked through them.
The demonstrations will cover the mechanics of the chutes, but also proper animal care. Attendees will see how they can easily and calmly work the cattle. There will be discussions on how to properly give injections and how to easily reach the right locations for the different types of injections.
“I'd like to say it’s a little bit of both education, training, as well as having producers be able to see firsthand right next to each other which chute might work best for their operation,” said Kelly Morrison, assistant account manager with IDEAg, during the call.
The demonstrations will last approximately 45 minutes and cover each of the chutes on site.
The swine industry will also have a strong presence in the livestock area. With the closing of the World Pork Expo, many companies are looking for a new venue to reach producers.
With the many animal disease concerns in the world, IDEAg is working to have a number of pharmaceutical companies present to help growers understand some of the health concerns across all livestock forms, as well as treatments.
“Pharmaceutical companies will be coming in and talking about new vaccines that are coming out and new practices that they can talk to their vets about in order to prevent diseases that are coming out with the wet year we're having,” Morrison said.
There will also be opportunities for producers to meet with nutritionists in order to review their feeding plans.
The livestock tent will be located on the north end of the pavilion between 6th and 7th Street.
“For those attending, it is pretty much kitty corner from the Farm Bureau pork chop tent,” said Hendel.