See you at Farm Progress Show

The 2017 Farm Progress Show opens in Decatur, Ill.

Holly Spangler, Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer

August 29, 2017

2 Min Read

Whether it’s your first Farm Progress Show, your fifth or your 50th, welcome back, old friends! We’re glad to see you.

And boy, do we have a show for you. For years now, we’ve been writing: “This year’s show promises to be the biggest and best yet.” And each year, it really is. Somehow, show manager Matt Jungmann and his team manage to best the year before, wowing us with better facilities, more exhibits and a bigger show experience.

We celebrated an anniversary this past year at Prairie Farmer, marking 175 years of telling the story of agriculture. We’ve had a good time looking back on what’s changed and what hasn’t, and the Farm Progress Show is a big part of that story.

It all began in 1953 with an editor and an advertising manager, and an idea to invite manufacturers and agribusinesses to show their wares to farmers. Their timing was impeccable; mechanization was fast replacing handwork on the farm. Fertilization, hybrids, research, science and technology were coming into their own — tailor-made for FPS with its farm setting and outdoor exhibit field.

The first show was held in 1953 on the Earl Bass farm, Armstrong, Ill., where a reported 75,000 people turned out. And 64 years later, we’re still doing the same thing — only moving between semipermanent sites since 2005, to thwart potential weather plagues.

Today at the Farm Progress Show, new product rollouts are the norm rather than the exception — so much so that in recent years, we’ve convened an editorial New Products Team to fan out across the show grounds in search of every single new product. And believe us, there’s no better way to learn about what’s available in agriculture than to go booth to booth at the show, talking to each exhibitor. Keep your eyes on this website for the next several months, as we bring you the best of those new items.

Don’t be a stranger, either. Stop by the Hospitality Tent, located in the center of the FPS exhibit field, to get a cool drink and say hello to the editors on hand. Be sure to visit us during the Prairie Farmer Hour from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., where we’ll have editors, columnists and some of our favorites from Midwestern agriculture all on hand to talk about the latest topics in ag.

And we look forward to hearing what’s important to you, so stop by to let us know what you think of the magazine, the latest story and the stories you’d like to see us cover.

So to our old friends and those yet to be made, we say welcome home. It’s good to see you again.

Holly Spangler,
editor, Prairie Farmer

Check it out

Aug. 29-31, 2017
Decatur, Ill.

Tuesday and Wednesday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

$20 for adults; $10 for ages 13-17

Discounts online


About the Author(s)

Holly Spangler

Senior Editor, Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Holly Spangler has covered Illinois agriculture for more than two decades, bringing meaningful production agriculture experience to the magazine’s coverage. She currently serves as editor of Prairie Farmer magazine and Executive Editor for Farm Progress, managing editorial staff at six magazines throughout the eastern Corn Belt. She began her career with Prairie Farmer just before graduating from the University of Illinois in agricultural communications.

An award-winning writer and photographer, Holly is past president of the American Agricultural Editors Association. In 2015, she became only the 10th U.S. agricultural journalist to earn the Writer of Merit designation and is a five-time winner of the top writing award for editorial opinion in U.S. agriculture. She was named an AAEA Master Writer in 2005. In 2011, Holly was one of 10 recipients worldwide to receive the IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Ag Journalism award. She currently serves on the Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, the U of I Agricultural Communications Advisory committee, and is an advisory board member for the U of I College of ACES Research Station at Monmouth. Her work in agricultural media has been recognized by the Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Corn, Illinois Council on Agricultural Education and MidAmerica Croplife Association.

Holly and her husband, John, farm in western Illinois where they raise corn, soybeans and beef cattle on 2,500 acres. Their operation includes 125 head of commercial cows in a cow/calf operation. The family farm includes John’s parents and their three children.

Holly frequently speaks to a variety of groups and organizations, sharing the heart, soul and science of agriculture. She and her husband are active in state and local farm organizations. They serve with their local 4-H and FFA programs, their school district, and are active in their church's youth and music ministries.

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