“Did you learn anything at the Ag Show?” A common question to commence the small talk and maybe pry a little if you were not able to make it to Minot any of those three days. Now that the KMOT Ag Expo in Minot has come and gone, what did you learn?
Some common themes were discussing the high fertilizer prices (urea jumped $90 per ton on Friday morning of the Ag Show), the timeline for getting a newly purchased piece of equipment, how long will it take to get parts, will I be able to get the ag chemical I need, will there be any seed variety shortages, etc. These were all common topics of conversation, and I hope you were able to find out as much as possible so you can make the best plan for your farm going into spring.
If you did not make the to the Ag Show, you are probably wondering how busy it was – or who else made it to the Ag Show. The weather sometimes dictates whether farmers are able to go to the Ag Show. This year, the temperatures were nice. On decent weather days, sometimes there will be a big crowd because people are excited to get out and about in the middle of a frigid winter, or sometimes that means it is finally a window for hauling grain or getting some other work done around the yard. This year the temperatures got into the 20s and 30s throughout the region, but the wind blew and that made highways icy and travel difficult.
Another important aspect of the Ag Show that may go unnoticed is the non-agriculture related vendors in attendance. The KMOT Ag Expo is an important annual event for many local and regional businesses to meet new customers in the Minot and surrounding areas.
One such business is Western Products, a home improvement products supplier and contractor based in West Fargo. Ben Warren, sales manager, says that Western Products participates in all types of shows and events all over North Dakota every year. “My personal favorite is always the KMOT Ag Expo, because it was the Minot Air Force Base that brought me to North Dakota 22 years ago, and I have many great friends here. Western Products has been serving the Minot community for over 70 years, and we have many great customers here as well. Every year we attend, I get to connect with both,” he said.
Warren agrees that his business does well when the farm economy is doing well. The same goes with other businesses that attend the Ag Expo to serve farmer customers. “I’ve learned so much over the years from the friendships I’ve developed with the other ag vendors at the show. Seeing their business grow year after year is something I look forward to each time I attend,” Warren explained.