Ten things to know about Farm Progress Show
One of the biggest farm shows around will swing into Decatur this year, with the latest tractors and agricultural products on display, tilling and combining demonstrations in the fields, and a country music concert.
The 2011 Farm Progress Show kicks off on Tuesday on grounds near Richland Community College.
Here we've compiled a top 10 list of what information to know before you go.
1. The Farm Progress Companies has a new app for your Android phone or iPhone. Download it free from the iPhone app store or Android Market. You'll find all the basic information you need about the show, such as exhibitors list, the event schedule and other tidbits.
If you don't have a smartphone, while you're at the show just look up and read the Jumbotron, which will display show and exhibit information.
2. Before you leave home, bring some nonperishable food to donate at the gate. Farm Progress, Monsanto and United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois have organized another food drive this year.
In addition to donations by show visitors, Monsanto will donate $1 per every pound of food collected at the show, up to $10,000. The first 500 showgoers who donate will receive a $5 food voucher for the show.
FFA students who donate will receive free admission to the show. If this promotion rings a bell, it's because the show organized a similar food drive for local pantries the last time the show was in Decatur in 2009. At that show, people donated about 18,500 pounds of food and donated $4,000. Monsanto gave $20,000.
3. It's this week. In Decatur. In recent years, Farm Progress has been holding its big show several weeks earlier than in the past. And a few years ago, they started alternating between Decatur and Boone, Iowa.
This year it's in Decatur. The show is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and until 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission at the gate is $12 for adults, $8 for students ages 13 to 17. Admission is free for children under 12.
4. Why check it out this year? A host of exhibitors will debut dozens of new products, from the latest tractor models to lawn mowers, tires, hitches, lamps, fire extinguishers, boots, you name it.
If you're an early adopter of farm technology, this is the place to view it all.
5. Who doesn't want to try something out before they buy (especially if it comes with a price tag of tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars)?
The "ride 'n' drive areas," in which you can get behind the wheel of the newest tractor, is southwest of the exhibit field.
6. Music. The featured concert will be country music performer Rodney Atkins, whose hits have included "Farmer's Daughter" and "Take a Back Road."
The concert will be at Richland Community College, just south of the Farm Progress Show exhibit field.
Gates open at 5 p.m. Tickets for the concert (which are not included in the admission price to the regular Farm Progress Show) cost $15 in advance and $25 at the gate.
7. Field demos. For once, let someone else combine the corn or till the field. Demonstrations to see the big machines in action happen daily at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for corn combining, 2 to 3 p.m. for tillage and the precision demonstrations have been expanded and will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
8. The Illini Pullers, a student organization in the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, will bring out their one-quarter-scale tractors and exhibit them in a pull from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday behind the ride 'n' drive area located in the south end of Progress City.
You'll see the Chief's Vendetta, the Chief's Tradition and the Relentless Chief, which have won awards at the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers competition.
9. The farmer's favorite agricultural news broadcaster, Orion Samuelson, will be speaking at the UI booth from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. daily.
10. Get your learning on. A host of talks will be given by experts in their field. And the best part is you don't have to pay extra to drop in on their discussions.
The many topics include refuge management, why Greece matters to your grain marketing, and equine nutrition.
If you go
What: Farm Progress Show
Where: northeast Decatur, south of Interstate 72 and east of Richland Community College.
When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, and Wednesday, Aug. 31, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1.
Admission: Cost at the gate is $12 per adult, $8 per student (13-17 years old), children under 12 free
More info: http://www.FarmProgress.com