Western Farm Show brings crowd: Kansas City, Mo., sees current and future customers
March 8, 2016
As exhibitors and visitors flocked to the 55th annual Western Farm Show in Kansas City, Mo., children smaller than oversized tires on new tractors were the most enthusiastic customers.
They lined up to climb inside a shiny bright green tractor, a playground with a $600,000 price tag.
The show, which ran Feb. 26-28, featured more than 500 exhibitors, including John Deere. Patrick Broxterman, a student from the John Deere tech porgram in Fort Scott, Kan., energetically bolted two steps at a time up into the cab. At 20, he was one of the older guests to clibm into the new tractor. Broxterman helped hoist toddlers Brock Mitchell and his brother Monte up the tractor steps to sit in the highly-anticipated driver's seat.
Clad in pink, 9-year old Jessica Farrell was beaming, as she tested the cab of tractor in the building.
"Jessica has been coming to the farm show every year since she was a baby," said Pickering, Mo.'s Chris and Mary Townsend, Jessica's mother and stepdad. Chris Townsend, who helps his brother-in-law grow corn and soybeans, attends this farm show every year.
Other exhibitors at the show ranged from the standard big machinery to high-tech drones.
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Fly Ag Tech, the display powered by KC Drone Company, said that 2016 is the first year people can use the drone for commercial farming purposes for the entire season.
"The drone is a tool to help farmers determine how the crop is doing in mid-season, not just at the end of the season," said Scott Jackman, COO with his business partner Casey Adams, CEO.
The farm implement exhibitors were complemented by other attractions, like a "Taste of Home" cooking school, livestock handling demonstration and farm mediation services.
Show producer and manager Ken Dean said hosting farm shows early in the year, before planting and harvesting begins, gives show attendees a leg up on the latest tech and trends. That's why many of the exhibitors — and attendees, like little Jessica Farrell — keep coming back year after year. ❖