With harvest nearing completion, calves weaned and winter on the way, it’s time for farmers and ranchers to start planning for the next year. Farm expos are a great way to do that, and those in the McCook, Neb., area have a large show they can attend.
The fifth annual McCook Farm and Ranch Expo, held Nov. 14-15, is set to kick off this week, and attendees will see a couple of new events, in addition to the fully packed trade show. The expo will be held at the Red Willow County Fairgrounds in McCook, Neb. Admission and parking are free.
“It’s a great place to come and see the newest and latest in farming and ranching practices and technology, said Darren Dale, show manager. “We are expecting 350 vendors from 20 states, Canada and Australia.”
Exhibitors will be housed across five buildings, and include displays for farm and ranch equipment, seed and chemicals, agricultural services, irrigation manufacturers, financial providers, commodity organizations, colleges, governmental services, home services and furniture and art galleries. “There will be something for everyone,” said Dale.
The expo will debut a new addition this year. “We have a new building that will house about 60 more vendors that are new to the show. The new building is something that is really exciting,” he said.
The show starts on Wednesday, November 14, with a free producer’s breakfast from 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. “Come join us for some great food and friendly faces, said Dale.
The show then opens at 9 a.m., and attendees can browse booths, listen to speakers and watch live demonstrations.
Throughout both days, Scott Daily, professional horse trainer, will be giving demonstrations. Daily has been around horses most of his life. His love for horses and desire to train them began in 4-H while he was growing up in Inola, Okla. Scott started training horses about 15 years ago. After many years of working with challenging colts and horses, Scott has developed and perfected his own techniques. Scott believes in building trust between horse and rider.
Kurtzer’s Walker Mowers will be giving Park and Ride Demonstrations both days as well. They will be showcasing their zero turn mowers, and an obstacle course will be set up to run the mowers through.
An immunization clinic will also take place on both days all day, and is offered by the Red Willow County Health Department. They will be offering influenza vaccinations.
A new event will take place this year, and that is the “High Quality Beef — From Gate to Plate” program. This event will be held on the 14th in the Kiplinger Arena at 1:30 p.m. Genetically tested heifers for growth and carcass traits will be brought to the expo, and the audience participants will be asked to predict which heifers will genetically produce: 1) the most, 2) highest quality 3) and best combination of quantity and quality of beef.
Larry Corah and PLH will be on-hand to give a short presentation about the value of new genetic testing technology combined with proper management techniques to maximize rancher profitability.
“We have a great opportunity with the Certified Angus Beef event. This is the only farm show they have done this at, so we are really excited about it,” said Dale.
One of the most exciting events of the show will take place on Wednesday evening at 6 p.m., when the second annual working ranch horse sale and benefit FFA auction will take place. The show will close at 7 p.m. this day.
“The sale will showcase the best performance horses for sale in the tri-state area that will be sold to the highest bidder. Last year we gave out more than 1,000 bidder numbers, so we expect we will have a large crowd again this year. It was a huge success,” said Dale.
Immediately following the horse sale, a benefit FFA auction will be held, and all proceeds will benefits the FFA chapters who submit the items.
There will also be several rodeo celebrities at the rodeo, including professional bull fighter Quirt Hunt, World Champion Steer Wrestler Dean Gorsuch, and Miss Rodeo Nebraska, Sierra Peterson. Other local rodeo queens will also be attending, and all will be signing autographs.
There will also be several drawings during at 3 p.m. on Thursday, where tickets to a Tri-City Storm hockey game will be given away. The show will close at 4 p.m. this day.
It is estimated that nearly 10,000 people will attend the show, from a wide area. “Our parking lot counts from last year showed vehicles from 37 Nebraska counties, 20 Kansas counties, 13 Colorado counties and 10 other states,” said Dale.
The show offers something for everyone, and is a great family event. “People should attend the show because it’s a great spot for people to see new products and new technology,” said Dale. ❖