T he 2024 Western Farm Show provides a highly informative and entertaining experience for farm and ranch families throughout the region. The popular farm show is now in its 62nd season. It will be held Friday through Sunday, February 23-25, 2024, at the American Royal Complex in Kansas City, Missouri.
Attendees can browse 400,000 square feet of exhibit space filled with new farm and ranch equipment and wide-ranging displays of other agricultural products and services.
The 2023 show offered attendees new and unique experiences, starting with a new look. Jami Applegate, Farm Show Manager, utilized her expertise in marketing to update the logo, website, and signage throughout the show.
“It was an area I wanted to address immediately when looking at the show’s presentation,” Applegate said. “We wanted to match the industry in innovation, technology, autonomy and growth. The logo now incorporates that in the design. We received many compliments on the aesthetically pleasing look and feel of the new designs seen throughout the show.”
Other new additions were noticed as well, especially when entering the show through a large grain bin sponsored by Sukup dealers Miller Welding and Seed and Farm Supply, Inc. Industry professionals held educational sessions called Farmer Development: Let’s Talk Shop! to share their knowledge of farming and ranching. John Deere sponsored ag influencer Brian Scott, who goes by The Farmer’s Life, took questions, explained his farming success, and signed autographs for those visiting the John Deere booth.
MFA, Inc was back as the primary show sponsor, showcasing their support by offering two new livestock seminars based on quality health performance for cattle, sheep and goats. Both seminars gained attention with families participating in 4-H and FFA. MFA also showcased their traditional Low-Stress Cattle Demonstrations with Dr. Ron Gill, who always fills the arena with standing room only.
“We are thrilled each year to see so many first-time viewers who have never seen the work of Dr. Gill,” Applegate stated. “We are very fortunate to be partnered with an event bringing real-life strategies and methods for farmers and ranchers to use in their daily operations. We have attendees share how they utilize the demos to their advantage when they return the following year. We look forward to building the continued success of the partnership we created.”
Students in High School FFA Chapters were invited to compete in the show’s first ag-mech competition owned and operated by Western Farm Show and partnered with the American Royal Association called Farm Equipment Career Development Event (FECDE). The FECDE was designed for students to participate individually and as a team in a three-part competition.
“Teachers enjoyed witnessing their students combine their classroom knowledge and farming experience for the competition,” Applegate said. “Several kids placed well for their first time in a competition. One kid from Tonganoxie scored a perfect 100% on one of his individual challenges.”
The Upper-Level Exhibition Hall saw expansion, with several exhibitors creating large displays for equipment. Trucks, machinery, side-by-sides, headers, trailers and old-fashioned tractors could all be found upstairs. The Missouri Farm Bureau had its Health and Safety Roundup open for the public during the show. They partner with ten agencies displaying interactive and educational booths for all ages to enjoy. Health Screenings are offered, which include blood pressure and hearing tests, tetanus shots, vision screening, glaucoma testing and children’s eye screening (infants to six years). Cholesterol screenings will be offered for a nominal fee.
And finally, the Family Living Center, sponsored by American Family Insurance, offered more shopping opportunities for the family this year. From soap to boots, stuffed animals to signs, there was something for everyone to take home. Family Center Farm and Home had a whole store of goods you could purchase from. “It was nice to have such a wide variety of goods offered this year. It really is fun to see the kids getting to shop and even pet goats.” Applegate said.
There were many improvements under the management of Applegate, who has completed two shows.
“There’s plenty to do throughout the weekend for the entire family,” stated Applegate. “Preparations are underway for another great show, with attractions starting outside the main doors.”
While the Western Farm Show has a strong focus on new equipment and the latest technologies, there are plenty of exhibits and demonstrations attendees won’t want to miss. From the Stockmanship and Stewardship Low-Stress Livestock Handling Demonstration to the Family Living Center, from the Health and Safety Roundup to the Livestock Seminars, there is plenty to see and do at the ag event.
“We’re proud the Western Farm Show ranks among the top indoor farm shows in the Midwest,” Applegate said. “We’re more than just a big show, we are an ag event.”