Aug. 26, 2010

Farm Progress Show returns to Iowa

by Erin Rosacker

The final touches are being put on the 2010 Farm Progress Show, being held Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at the Central Iowa Expo grounds located just east of Boone at the intersection of state Highway 30 and state Highway 17. The event drew more than 100,000 visitors in 2008, the first year of the expo's 20-year commitment to serve as a biennial host with Decatur, Ill.

By the numbers

This year, organizers are expecting upwards of 200,000 visitors during the three-day show. More than 200 exhibits will be displayed in 2.8 million square feet of exhibit space, including at least 250 tents and 25 permanent structures (such as hoop buildings). Four field demonstration sites situated within the 88-acre expo grounds will showcase about 60 different pieces of farm equipment.

"This is like the Detroit Auto Show for farmers," said Matt Jungmann, national manager for the Farm Progress Show. "This is where things are unveiled for the first time."

Iowa State on display

Iowa State will be well-represented at the show with plenty of faculty, researchers and specialists on hand. Most exhibits will be part of an interactive educational display in ISU's hoop building. The College of Design partnered with ISU Extension and the agronomy department to create the display, incorporating a "working together to care for our land" theme that focuses on soil. The building is located at the corner of Central Avenue and Seventh Street on the expo grounds.

The local organizing committee also will be offering tours of nearby ISU facilities during the Farm Progress Show. Morning (8:30-11:30 a.m.) and afternoon (1:30-4:30 p.m.) tours will be available. Three different tour experiences are being offered, including:

  • Biomass (BioCentury Research Farm, Ag Engineering/Agronomy Research Farms)
  • Livestock and dairy (Dairy and Compost Facility, Animal Science Teaching Farms)
  • Horticulture and horse farm (Horse barns, Horticulture Station, Reiman Gardens)

Admission is $15 for each tour. More information is available by contacting the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau, (515) 956-4601,

The Farm Progress Show is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for youth and free for children 12 and younger. Parking is free, located north of the expo grounds off highway 17.