Visitors to the 42nd annual Big Iron Farm Show presented by the Cass County Farm Bureau will immerse themselves in three days of hands-on agricultural advancements. The three-day celebration of agriculture includes informational exhibit booths, innovative field demonstrations and opportunities to see the latest in agriculture unveiled. And admission and parking are free!
This year, the Big Iron Farm Show will welcome visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 13-14, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, on the Red River Valley Fairgrounds, located at 1805 Main Ave. W., in West Fargo.
“There isn’t a farm show like Big Iron in our region,” says Jay Rehder, this year’s Big Iron Farm Show Committee chairperson, who works for the Red River Farm Network. “It is all ag. It’s just the sheer size and scale of it and the sheer number of exhibitors. In our region, there’s no other show of that kind of size.”
The Big Iron Farm Show strives to educate farmers and ranchers from around the world with the latest cutting-edge agricultural products, equipment, technology and services.
This year, the show will include a demonstration of a weed spray robot by a research team at North Dakota State University (NDSU), and demonstrations of a driverless grain cart system by Titan Machinery. Demonstrations of the WeedBot will take place in front of the Hartl Building throughout each day. Titan Machinery will demonstrate the Raven OmniDrive autonomous grain cart system throughout each day on the west side of the fairgrounds on the Steffes Lot.
“There is very much a face-to-face aspect to Big Iron. To be able to have a conversation with somebody about a product or a service or something you’re interested in or looking for. You just can’t replace that one-on-one communication with a rep from a company. To personally walk the grounds and see so many different things, where else can you do that in a three-day show?” Rehder says.
Car races this year will add another opportunity to network during a fun event, on Wednesday, Sept. 14, starting at 6 p.m.
At least three classes will race, including International Motor Contest Association (IMCA) modifieds, IMCA sprint cars and IMCA stock cars, at the Red River Valley Speedway, which is located at the fairgrounds. Tickets for the general public will be available and vendors will have tickets to invite customers. A candy toss for the kids will be held during the races as well.
The show will also have a career day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 15, with college students invited to visit with exhibitors throughout the show.
“We want to make sure the best and brightest are going to these companies,” says Cody Cashman, the show’s CEO.
With the Cass County Farm Bureau as the presenting sponsor, the Big Iron Farm Show will continue to keep the show’s admission free.
“We’re looking at having a bigger and better farm show than we’ve ever had,” Cashman says. “It’s a one-stop shop. You’re going to find what you’re looking for and more at Big Iron.”
Along with the introduction of new equipment and technology, the 42nd annual Big Iron Farm Show will include a celebration of rural living.
North Dakota Living sponsors daily health screenings during the Big Iron Farm Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at the Health and Safety Center, Horticulture Building. The partnership with North Dakota Living provides health information and preventive screenings in a convenient location, so farmers and ranchers can learn more about their own health.
North Dakota Living will also be greeting visitors in Booth AL7-AL9.
The North Dakota Trade Office (NDTO) plans to host incoming international visitors again this year. Since 2007, the NDTO has hosted the International Visitors Program at the Big Iron Farm Show to engage with agribusiness and agricultural equipment buyers from all over the globe.
Committee says hello
Putting together a topnotch show for both visitors and exhibitors is the goal of the Big Iron Farm Show Committee. The Big Iron Farm Show planning is assisted by a volunteer committee involved in various aspects of agribusiness.
The committee guides the decisions about the show, pointing to new technologies, topics or events in the ag industry.
“The committee is made up of people with a lot of different experiences and backgrounds in the ag community,” Rehder says. “We want to make sure we’re getting the exhibits, the products and the people at Big Iron that farmers and ag industry people want to see, the latest and greatest.”
Along with Rehder, serving as chairperson, are: Chris Prochnow, Agassiz Seed & Supply; Bridgette Readel, Corteva Agriscience; John Nowatzki with NDSU Extension; Terry Longtin, with Farmers National Company; Cole Peterson, ProSeed; and Jason Ehlert, Ehlert Excavating.
To learn more about the Big Iron Farm Show, call 701-282-2200 or visit www.bigironfarmshow.com.
Luann Dart is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the Elgin area.