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Farm show gears up in Owatonna

North American Farm & Power Show, Owatonna, 2024
Rick Bussler, Publisher

This week’s North American Farm Show in Owatonna is a complete sell-out with vendors on the waiting list.

There are 156 exhibitors on display at the Four Seasons Centre, which has been the home of the popular farm show for 22 years, according to Dan Slowinski, who is in his first year of managing the show. Of those exhibitors, 30 of them have been at the show for the entire time, he said.

Featured at this week’s show, which runs Thursday through Saturday, are 32 first-time exhibitors. Slowinski said some of the unique features from those exhibitors will be custom built livestock shelters and self-propelled wheel barrels.

Companies from all over the Midwest and Canada will be represented at the show, which attracts thousands of farmers and others with interest in livestock. Slowinski expects as many as 12,000 people to attend at this year’s show.

“It gets representatives in front of farmers to show off new technology and equipment,” Slowinski said of the show. “The ag industry is constantly evolving so you have to keep up with it or you fall behind,” he added.

He said the show is a “one-stop shop” for farmers where they can attend seminars, make purchases and build relationships with companies. “It’s all about making relationships that last years, if not decades,” said Slowinski. “You can look someone in the eye and have a handshake.”

The unseasonably mild winter has allowed for more equipment to be on display outdoors, Slowinski said.

The show is open Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

A silent auction will be held to benefit the FFA program. Money raised in the auction will pay for scholarships, jackets and trips for FFA members throughout the state.

The Owatonna show is not the only show produced by Tradexpos. The Austin-based company also operates shows in Topeka, Kan. and Fort Wayne, Ind., which is the largest of the company’s shows.

Slowinski said there are about a dozen companies on the waiting list to get into the Owatonna show. “It’s a good problem to have,” he said. “I wish we had more space.”

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