The Nebraska Power Farming Show is an event that just keeps getting bigger each year. The event is only six years old, but has increased by 25 percent just since 2011. In order to meet with the demands of vendors and attendees, the Lancaster Event Center added a fifth building to host booths in 2012. This year boasted 9.2 acres of indoor displays of ag-related displays. New businesses and veterans alike come to showcase their companies. Establishments from 23 states were represented as well as four Canadian providences.
One of the key focuses of the event is to demonstrate new products and services. This year saw an increase in digital technology. From monitoring production levels with new applications on computer tablets to GPS navigation and touch screens on farm equipment. The Power Farming Show was saturated with the latest and greatest in electronics. Businesses strive to save farmers and ranchers time, money and effort while delivering the best possible product and/or service. In an effort to increase customer support and brand awareness, companies have started making themselves more present online. Attendants were hard pressed to find a firm that didn’t have a web site or e-mail address. The companies want to be available for their customers any time they need them.
The majority of vendors have a positive experience at the show as it continues to grow larger each year. One returning business is Clarks Ag Supply out of Clarks, Neb. They have been in business for 13 years manufacturing seed handling equipment called EasiLoad Seed Systems. Owners Tom and Teri Beck have been coming to the Nebraska Power Farming Show since its inception six years ago. This is not the pair’s first show this year by any means “We’re nationwide, we go to 34 farm shows a year across the United States,” said Tom Beck. Being from Clarks, Neb., Beck admitted that one of the best things about this Lincoln show is its proximity to home, “Our products are built here in Lincoln, Neb., and also in Lincoln, Ill.,” said Beck.
The business has seen the show grow over the years. “The timing of the show is about perfect. It is the end of the tax season, end of the tax year, so farmers are willing to invest in some good equipment.” As far as the changes the company has seen, Beck says, “The equipment gets bigger, farms get bigger and farmers get a little older which falls right in line with what we do.” The company calls their line of equipment the EasiLoad Seed System. “Our claim to fame is our machines and their low profile and their safety,” said Beck. “As farmers get older safety is a big issue, ours are low to the ground.” Beck went on to say, “We support our systems, we don’t close at 4:00 and we’re around on Saturdays and Sundays; we know farming doesn’t stop at 4 p.m. We’re around when planting season comes around and we’ll get parts and service handled even on competitor equipment.”
This year there were 128 new vendors visiting the show at The Lancaster Event Center for the first time. One of those vendors was Darren Kinney with Talon Steel Buildings. Talon Steel has only been around for a year but knew it would be wise for them to be present at this year’s event. The company is part of several other companies under one umbrella that includes Eagle First Roofing and Construction and Legacy Wood Floors. This allows the company to truly be a one-stop construction company. Kinney explains, “We can do a lot of things: roofing, siding, remodels, gutters, fascia, insulation, office spaces, steel buildings we even have a concrete sub-contractor. We do everything!”
When asked what brought him to the show, Kinney said, “Steel buildings are my main focus and this is the perfect place for me to be.” Prior to co-founding Talon Steel Buildings, Kinney was at Southeast Community College teaching construction classes and human resources. Jason Cunningham, the owner of Eagle Roofing and Construction started the business with Kinney and the pair are already doing well. “We are rated as the number 11 rated dealer in the nation for steel buildings,” said Kinney. The company usually handles large builds but recently agreed to do a building as small as 10-feet-by-10-feet for a pump house. Kinney explained, “It is on a property that has termite problems and with steel there are no termite issue.” Currently the only office for Talon is in Lincoln, Neb., and the company will travel about 90 miles around the city to service clients. A second office in McCook is already underway and will open in 2013.
The Nebraska Power Farming Show has been getting more national talent to their booths. One such example is Randy Baker with Willcross Seed. Baker drove four hours from Garden City, Mo., to be a part of the event. “We have several customers in this area and dealers that wanted us to be here at the show, so that’s what we do, we do what our customers want,” said Baker when asked why he traveled this far to Lincoln. “We export non-GMO soybeans, we’ve got Roundup Ready, Genuity Roundup Ready ones and twos, Willcross 752 Wheat and we also sell AgriGold corn.” When asked what set his business apart from others, Baker said, “We are still self-owned, none of the big companies own us. Additionally, we’re plenty competitive on our pricing.” Noting the change in the market over recent years, Baker said, “The non-GMO thing is getting to be a pretty big deal and we are always looking for growers, we pay premiums on those.” Baker has thoroughly enjoyed the show and said, “I’ll definitely be back next year!”
Vendors are not the only ones making a trek to be at the show. Jed Black drove 160 miles from Beloit, Kan., to Lincoln, Neb.; this is his second Nebraska show this year as he also came up in September for Husker Harvest days in Grand Island. “We like to come up and get away, have a nice little vacation and see what is going on at the farm show.” Black has attended the event for the second year in a row. He said, “It is a nice show, I like that it is inside. It has a lot of good exhibits, a lot of nice people.” He concluded with, “It seems like it is getting bigger each year, it really is a great show.”
The three-day family friendly event offered a variety of free educational seminars. A series of experts were brought in to talk with farmers and ranchers about topics concerning their lifestyle and industry. Some of the seminars spoke about Agricultural Risk, Crop Insurance, On-Farm Research, Water Management, Future Energy Consumption on the Farm, and Commodity Market Price updates. The classes were held in smaller groups that allowed for interaction between speakers and the audience.
With over 2,100 booths, free educational events, free parking, several restrooms and an assortment of on-site food options, The Nebraska Power Farming Show made it easy for visitors to spend all day, or even multiple days, at the event center. The general consensus from attendees is that they look forward to what is in store for the 2013 show. ❖
We like to come up and get away, have a nice little vacation and see what is going on at the farm show. It is a nice show, I like that it is inside. It has a lot of good exhibits, a lot of nice people.”
~ Jed Black, from Beloit, Kan.