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Slideshow: Take a look around the Farm Progress Show at driverless tractors, new combines, marching bands and more.

Holly Spangler

September 5, 2018

31 Slides

The Farm Progress Show wrapped up its 2018 run last week in Boone, Iowa, with avid crowds and, after 0.8 of an inch of rain fell Tuesday afternoon, a solid reminder of why permanent facilities make for a better show.

“The permanent facilities certainly showed their value on Wednesday, even though we had to push a few vehicles into parking lots,” says Matt Jungmann, Farm Progress national events director. “But with the sun and wind, by the time Wednesday was said and done, people pretty much drove out of lots. We were able to close the show out with two beautiful days on Wednesday and Thursday.”

The week in weather was also a good reminder of why the show employs weather services and shuts down for lightning. Jungmann reports they closed the show at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, when lightning was within an 8-mile perimeter of the show grounds. They didn’t get the all clear from the National Weather Service until after 5 p.m., when they were free of lightning for 30 minutes within an 8-mile perimeter of the site.

“The plan worked, even though it’s not a lot of fun,” Jungmann says, noting that lightning actually struck on the property after the show was canceled and closed, but no one and no property was damaged. “That definitely confirmed it was the right decision.”

By the weekend, football games at both University of Nebraska and Iowa State University were canceled due to lightning. “It’s good to see lightning safety being taken seriously all across the event world,” Jungmann adds.

Wednesday and Thursday brought beautiful weather. Harvest demonstrations ran on Thursday, where staff and companies performed two and a half days of harvesting in one day. Tiling demos ran all day on Thursday.

Back on the exhibit field, Jungmann says the exhibits themselves really stole the show, with exhibitors putting big efforts into creating beautiful displays. Visitors flocked to the floating tractor, the new Fendt combine and the autonomous tractor demonstrations.

It takes an army to put on a show of this magnitude, and Jungmann credits law enforcement, emergency medical services, parking officials and more for their work. “There are hundreds and hundreds of people devoted to making the show successful, and we couldn’t do it without them,” he adds. 

Next year’s Farm Progress Show will be held Aug. 27-29 in Decatur, Ill. Check out the slideshow below to see photos from this year's event.

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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