Colorado Farm Show continues proud tradition in Greeley, Colo.
The Colorado Farm Show is one of largest and oldest farm shows in the county. This only makes sense, due to the fact that Weld county is one of the biggest agricultural producing counties in the country.
The event ran from Jan. 24-26 at Island Grove Park in Greeley, Colo. It is estimated that over 30,000 visitors came to the show throughout the three days it was held.
The Colorado Farm Show was first held in 1965, from February 16-17, and it drew 30 exhibitors. It began under the direction of a group of Colorado State University Extension Agents, and was originally called the Colorado Agricultural Chemical Exposition.
In 1967, the name Colorado Farm Show took it’s place. In 1968 the event became organized similar to the structure used today, and that’s when it really took off. The show is now planned using a committee under the Extension Service and the Greeley Chamber of Commerce.
Today, the show has grown exponentially, and in addition to venders, participants can attend a wide range of seminars to learn more about certain industries.
The first day was Ag Spotlight and Beef Day. The Ag Spotlight focused on such topics as Agro-technology, market risks, a panel discussion on farm labor, and a presentation on risk management and the farm bill.
The Beef Day seminars included information on organizing ranching systems to manage risk, the economics of stocking rate, an overview of the beef cattle markets, an update on animal health and disease traceability, and a producers panel that asked producers about the decisions they made during the year that affected profitability.
The second day was the Partners in Ag and Dairy Days. The Partners in Ag seminars began in the morning with information on etiquette, which was followed by a program that talked about landscaping. In the afternoon, conservation easements were discussed, as well as estate planning.
For the dairy days, participants could learn about techniques for humane euthanasia of cattle, a producers panel, a presentation by CEO of the Western Dairy Association, Cindy Harren, on the Diary Checkoff, and finally another panel discussion, but this one was on the agricultural labor crisis.
On Wednesday there was also a discussion about Colorado weather, and a review of the major events in 2011 was discussed. Nolan Doesken, State Climatologist, also discussed what to plan for in 2012.
Thursday was another Partners in Ag day, as well as Equine Day. The Partners in Ag Speakers informed visitors about noxious weeds, aquatic weeds, rules and regulations pertaining to weeds and pesticides, and choosing species of weeds to use near irrigation ditches.
For the Equine Day, the morning session was dedicated to talking about advanced reproductive procedures, such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer. The session was presented by Dr. Joe Manning, Veterinary Technical Services Manager for Merck Animal Health.
The afternoon session was conducted by Dr. Josh Zacharias, the Equine Surgeon at Countryside Large Animal Veterinary Services in Greeley. He talked about the common types of surgeries, as well as deciding what surgeries are best for a horse with a problem.
Over 300 venders attended the event, including seed dealers, irrigation companies, livestock companies and equipment dealers. Their was one piece of equipment, however, that caught anyone’s eye who walked by.
The Claas Jaguar forage harvester, with 885-horsepower, was easily the star of the show. The harvester can chop 12 rows of corn at a time, and can turn corn into silage at the rate of roughly 350 tones per hour. The machine was brought to the show by B&G Equipment out of Greeley, and it costs $625,000.
The show is put on by a group of 85 full-time volunteers, and 15-20 part-time volunteer. The show has been volunteer run since it’s inception.
The theme for the show was Harvesting Success, and awards were given out to companies at the show. The award for best theme for a big booth went to B&G Equipment. For the small booth, Producers Hybrids was the winner.
“It gives us a chance to reconnect with all of our customers that we don’t get to see all the time, and that’s the main thing. It also gives us an opportunity to show new products to everyone,” said Buddy Truesdell, owner of B&G Equipment, in an interview with the Colorado FFA State Officers.
In the best design category, the big booth winner was Wickham Tractor Company, and the small booth winner was Colorado East Band & Trust.
For the most educational, the award winners were Schlagel Manufacturing for big booth, and EZid for small both.
The final category, most congenial, was won by Power Equipment Company for the big booth, and Strategic Financial Management for the small booth.
The 2013 Colorado Farm Show will be held from Jan. 29-31.