The Western Farm Show returns to the American Royal complex in Kansas City, Missouri, Feb. 21-23. At the 59th annual event, show manager Ken Dean says there will be a wide variety of farm equipment and technology for visitors to see and discuss.

“This’ll be year number 59 it’s in Kansas City, and folks all over the state of Missouri, and in Kansas, they enjoy coming to Kansas City and spending a few days,” he says. “Not only are we offering them an opportunity to come to town, they can also take part in one of the larger farm shows in the region.”

Dean says the show gives farmers and ranchers the opportunity to see new products and learn about what’s going on in the industry. It can be entertainment, and also something that can help their operations.

“There’s a lot to see,” he says. “They come to get educated. There’s such a wide range of exhibitors and vendors at our show. Farmers and ranchers are continually looking for any advantage they can get.”

The show’s home is the American Royal complex, down in the city’s West Bottoms by the site of the old Kansas City Stockyards, an area rich with Kansas City’s agricultural heritage.

The show is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.

Visit www.westernfarmshow.com for more information. The website has a survey people can fill out for $3 off admission.

In addition to the farm equipment and products, the Western Farm Show has a Family Living Center with a variety of products such as gifts, souvenirs and collectibles.

There is also a Health and Safety Roundup that has several free health screenings and safety exhibits. Diane Olson, who recently retired from her career with Missouri Farm Bureau, is organizing the Health and Safety Roundup for the 28th year.

Having a variety of things available helps make the show fun for entire families, Dean says.

“We like to say family friendly,” he says. “We fill the American Royal complex, which is a big building. It’s a buffet for farmers and ranchers, you have a little bit of something for everybody there.”

For the 10th year, Ron Gill with Texas AgriLife Extension will host his low-stress livestock handling demonstrations in the Scott Pavilion. Farming can be a stressful profession, and Dean says a lot of people have interest in a way to handle cattle that is less stressful for the animals and for the producers.

“It’s even more popular than we ever dreamed,” he says.

The livestock handling demonstrations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22.

Sunday, Feb. 23, is again Military Appreciation Day, with active duty military personnel getting in free.

Friday, Feb. 21 is FFA Day, which this year includes leadership and career preparation sessions for students in the Wagstaff Theatre beginning at 9:30 a.m. that day. Dean says the show is a chance for students to learn more about agriculture and consider it as a career path.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for the young people, the students, that this could be something that they’d want to pursue after high school and college,” he says.

As show manager, Dean says the Western Farm Show is a chance to show appreciation for farmers and ranchers.

“My hat’s off to them,” he says. “I appreciate the farmers and ranchers so much. They represent so many things. It’s not just food on the table, it’s so many products.”

The show gives farmers and ranchers a chance to talk with ag companies about their products face to face.

“They have the opportunity to window shop and to learn and to visit with the point people,” Dean says.

Ben Herrold is Missouri field editor, writing for Missouri Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.