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Published September 22, 2009, 07:12 AM

Other views: Big Iron notable this year

Big Iron is always a major ag exhibition, but this year was notable for a couple of reasons. First, the weather was as good as it can be in mid-September. Big Iron regulars know rain and cool weather often could be counted on during the show’s run. Not this year. Summer-like temperatures and light winds made for perfect conditions for exhibitors and visitors.

By: The Forum, The Jamestown Sun

Big Iron is always a major ag exhibition, but this year was notable for a couple of reasons. First, the weather was as good as it can be in mid-September. Big Iron regulars know rain and cool weather often could be counted on during the show’s run. Not this year. Summer-like temperatures and light winds made for perfect conditions for exhibitors and visitors.

Second, and more important than the weather, the contingent of foreign visitors underscored the role of farm machinery exports. Several of the companies displaying their equipment count the biggest share of the sales in overseas markets. More than 150 buyers and others from 15 foreign nations attended this year’s show, not because they were tourists, but because they wanted to see the latest in American and Canadian farm machinery.

Six hundred exhibitors with a combined 800 exhibits understand the value of overseas markets. Many of them work closely with the North Dakota Trade Office to advance sales, master the complexities and vagaries of the export market and develop relationships among manufacturing representatives and potential buyers. The success of that effort has been impressive. North Dakota exports, including farm equipment, have been on an upward trend for several years.

Big Iron is an important part of the export push. It provides foreign buyers and representative of foreign governments (often the buyers) to get hands-on opportunities to examine new farm equipment, see it in action and even start the purchase process. For the exhibitors, the show brings together in one grand location on the Northern Plains not only potential foreign buyers but also American farmers. And for many manufacturers, the U.S. farmer is still the most important component of the market.

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