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A tradition returns, KMOT Ag expo set for Jan. 27 to 29

Crop and livestock prices rise and fall, but the KMOT Ag Expo doesn't miss a beat. "We're expecting another good year," says Todd Telin, who manages the show in Minot, N.D. "Everything points to that." The 45th annual event -- billed as the "larg...

Crop and livestock prices rise and fall, but the KMOT Ag Expo doesn't miss a beat.

"We're expecting another good year," says Todd Telin, who manages the show in Minot, N.D. "Everything points to that."

The 45th annual event -- billed as the "largest indoor agricultural show in the Upper Midwest" -- will be held Jan. 27-29 at the State Fair Center on the North Dakota State Fairground. More than 350 exhibitors, covering more than 1,000 booths, will participate, and 30,000 to 40,000 people are expected to attend.

The show describes itself as covering "all areas of agriculture in western North Dakota." But it draws from across the Upper Midwest and southern Canada, where farmers grow most of the crops as their U.S. counterparts in the Northern Plains.

Doors open daily at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free, and a heated shuttle bus takes visitors from the parking lot to the front door.

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The show's information booth offers a program with exhibitor maps and listings, as well as a seminar schedule. The seminars include presentations of seed, weather and crop insurance.

Telin says he doubts poor crop prices will have much effect on the show. There continues to be a waiting list for companies that want to exhibit their products and services, and farmers and ranchers still plan to attend.

He's uncertain, however, if ag producers will be as willing and able to buy what exhibitors hope to sell.

Here's a list of exhibitors from the KMOT website: media.graytvinc.com.

Most exhibitors will occupy the same location as last year.

There's been talk of expanding the State Fair Center, which would allow the Ag Expo to offer more exhibits. Nothing has come of it so far, though Telin remains hopeful of eventual expansion.

Hotel rooms 'not an issue'

Minot has grown rapidly in the past few years, and hotel rooms sometimes were hard to come by, especially during big events such as the Ag Expo. But more than 1,000 new hotel rooms have been built since 2011, and out-of-town visitors who want a room will be able to get one, Telin says.

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"That's just not an issue," he says of potential difficulties in finding a hotel room.

Even so, it's best to make a reservation in advance, he says.

Visitors usually attend two of the three days, typically the first and second or second and third days, Telin says.

"What we usually hear is, there's too much to see in only one day," he says.

Living Ag Classroom

One of the show's most popular features is the Living Ag Classroom, which teaches area fourth-graders about how their food gets from fields to grocery stores. More than 13,000 students, teachers and parents have participated through the years.

This year, the classroom is on the mezzanine and is open to the public, with sessions at 9 a.m. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Jan. 27 and Jan 29.  It's sponsored by SRT Communications and the North Dakota Farmers Union.

Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
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