A German exchangee’s impression of Farmfest

GILFILLAN ESTATES – It is that time of the year again when hundreds of exhibitors come together on 50 acres of land to promote their products, to connect regional farmers and other interested people with the agricultural industry and to provide tons of individual solutions.

It is Minnesota Farmfest time. The three-day agricultural exposition ends day. And for someone who has never seen huge farming machines like the ones on display there before, it is quite impressive.

The weather has meant well for everyone attending the 33rd annual IDEAg Minnesota Farmfest at Gilfillan Estates in Redwood County so far. Close to 600 exhibitors – both local and national companies – are involved in the 2014 show, promoting their latest technological advances. The three-day agricultural exposition ends today.

“We started setting up everything on Monday and have been here ever since. It has been a good show for us so far.” said James Duenow, district sales manager at Mustang Seeds.

For Neil Schlaak, who has been working for Kibble Equipment for 10 years, Farmfest is always a little tough: “Our dealers do not introduce their new products until the middle of August. So unfortunately we never have all the brand new stuff here. But we have great customer service and promote our equipment very well.”

“We are a group of volunteer women – mostly farm moms – who share their knowledge about farming and food with other moms. And we’ve had some very unique conversations so far,” explained Commonground volunteer Linda Patsche.

And even if Bjorn Peterson, employee of microbiology specialist Agnition, was “on call” Wednesday because his wife is expecting their first child any day, he seemed content: “I’m just enjoying my time here and the farmers’ response to our products has been very positive.”

Not only the exhibitors, but also more than 35,000 visitors had lots of events to enjoy and things to see.

Not only field demonstrations such as drones or the Minnesota State Patrol vehicle inspection, but also kids’ pedal pulls as well as the farm safety carnival took place. Political debates, educational activities and forums enhanced the offerings. Tuesday ended with the young farmer BBQ, and Wednesday began with a free pancake breakfast.

Today at 1 p.m., there will be the Minnesota Farmers Union free watermelon feed. At 1.30 p.m, the Farm Families of the Year will be announced.

But apart from all the events, one of the most impressive things to see was by far the huge farming equipment that was displayed on the fest ground – at least for someone from Germany who has never seen anything like that before. Barely overlooking the size of some of the machines, you can only imagine how much money these monsters must cost. Incredible is the only word to describe it.

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