BOONE COUNTY, Iowa – On the final day of the Farm Progress Show, traffic should have been backed up on to Highway 17 and farm equipment should have been on display, not on the move.
With 600 vendors and the potential for crowds of up to 50,000 people, organizers decided not to try their luck.
“We had an imminent thunderstorm with lightning 13 miles away and we decided we couldn’t put visitors or exhibitors in harm’s way,” said Don Tourte, VP of Progress for the Farm Progress Show.
It was a disappointing announcement for Sebastian Hinsen.
He’s an engineer from Germany who traveling to farm shows across the US to get a better feel for the American markets and the machinery used to work our fields.
“The main difference between other countries and the US is the size of the farm equipment. In other countries, the farms are not so big,” Hinsen told Channel 13 News.
For Shane Schechinger, a salesman for a Templeton, Iowa based company called Accu-Steel, the decision to cancel day three is an expensive one.
“With our product, it’s not an instant sell. It’s a quoting process that can take years to close,” said Schechinger.
On top of the business contacts Schechinger couldn’t make, the company wasn’t able to capitalize on the $50,000 dollars it spent on advertising to get people to the show.
“That was a big investment for us,” said Schechinger.
Of course with agriculture comes adversity. From the vendors, to the visitors, it’s on to the next show.
“This is what farmers deal with each and every day. Welcome to agriculture,” said Tourte.
This isn’t the first time the Farm Progress Show has been canceled due to weather. Organizers say that just a few years ago, all three days of the show which was being held in Alleman were canceled.
The show moves on to Grand Island, Nebraska for Husker Harvest Days in two weeks. It will return to Boone in two years after being held in Decatur, Illinois next year.