Two of the largest outdoor farm shows in the United States will not happen this year for the first time ever. The Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days are both canceled in 2020 due to rapidly changing conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Farm Progress news release on June 29.
This comes after an earlier news release from Farm Progress on June 17 saying the Farm Progress Show, set for September 1-3 in Boone, Iowa, would proceed but with enhanced health and safety directives.
This was also the plan for the Husker Harvest Days (HHD) show. Billed as the largest irrigated working farm show in the world, HHD was set for September 15-17 in Grand Island, Nebraska.
Show management said while both state and local officials expressed support for both shows, the situation with increasing cases of COVID-19 cases across the country changed their plans.
“We have been working with officials in Iowa and Nebraska for our shows, and we appreciate the support they expressed for us to hold the events,” said Don Tourte, senior vice president of Farm Progress. “They are critical partners to us, and we are all disappointed to not host the events this year, but feel confident that this is the right decision for our community.”
One of the key features of the shows is their attraction to visitors from so many places. However, plans changed for the shows as more than half of the U.S. saw a significant spike in new cases of COVID-19.
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“We have a multi-generational audience that travels from all across the country and around the world to attend the shows and based on that, we felt it better to reconsider the traditional show for 2020 to prioritize the safety of all,” said Matt Jungmann, events manager for Farm Progress. “Our community’s safety is our priority, always.”
A virtual experience was already being planned as an extension to the live events. Jungmann said while a virtual event won’t give farmers the true “tire kicking” experience of being at the show, the events team is gearing up to deliver a dynamic digital experience.
Here is a list of some North American ag-related events canceled or delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Alaska State Fair
- California State Fair
- Calgary Stampede (Alberta, Canada)
- Canadian Western Agribition (Saskatchewan, Canada)
- Dakotafest Farm Show (SD)
- Edmonton K-Days (Alberta, Canada)
- FarmFest Farm Show (Minnesota)
- Farm Progress Show (Iowa)
- Husker Harvest Days (Nebraska)
- Illinois and Du Quoin State Fairs
- Indiana State Fair
- Iowa State Fair
- Maine State Fair
- Minnesota State Fair
- Montana State Fair
- New Jersey State Fair
- Nevada State Fair (Delayed)
- North Dakota State Fair
- Ohio State Fair
- Oregon State Fair
- Royal Manitoba Winter Fair (Manitoba, Canada)
- The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (Ontario, Canada)
- York State Fair (Pennsylvania)
- Tennessee State Fair
- Wisconsin State Fair
- World Dairy Expo (Wisconsin)
- World Pork Expo (Iowa)
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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