Winter Farm Shows Reflect Trends in Agriculture

Greg Guse
February 16, 2015

From late January through early March, it’s farm show season. Thus far Paulsen representatives have attended the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) in Atlanta, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) annual convention in San Antonio and the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, with the Commodity Classic yet to come February 25-28 in Phoenix.

That’s a lot of agriculture packed into five weeks and a lot of trade show miles! What are the key takeaways from attending these shows?

First the IPPE, which has a huge poultry component to the show, along with daily seminars on a host of interesting topics such as regulatory overviews, quality assurance and GMPs, environmental reporting and audits, food safety, employee recruiting and retention—the list goes on and on. My key takeaway: the poultry industry is very large, sophisticated and very well organized. The trade show was very impressive, with the size and quality of the exhibits being world-class.

On to the NCBA event in San Antonio. Nothing like record market prices for both feeder calves and fed cattle to bring our nation’s beef industry together to celebrate these excellent market conditions. I heard that a record number of attendees participated in this year’s get-together—over 8,200 registrations. Lots of smiles from both exhibitors and beef producers reflecting market conditions and the outlook for the balance of this year. My favorite stop was the 2015 Learning Lounge with interesting production and beef economics presentations running from 9:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon each day. It was filled with impressive presentations from impressive presenters.

The National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville is the granddaddy of indoor farm shows with literally acres of trade show exhibits. The crowds were some of the largest I’ve ever seen at this show. Our clients, Kubota Tractor and Raven Applied Technology Division, were very pleased with the traffic at their respective display areas. New trends that I noticed on display were companies focused on biological farming and aerial mapping of fields via drones. Of course, living up to the show’s name, there was lots of farm equipment. The size of new equipment on display gets larger and more sophisticated each year. There seems to be one thing that all farmers like to see and talk about, and that is farm equipment.

Next show on the schedule: Commodity Classic in Phoenix. We’re certainly looking forward to that event as well. Each year this show seems to grow both in attendees and number of exhibitors.

Here at Paulsen, we find these winter farm shows to be excellent learning opportunities and a chance to meet with so many fascinating people that make the ag industry what it is today.

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