ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Dakotafest sees good traffic on first two days, with Gov. Kristi Noem scheduled to visit on final day

Niki Jones, marketing manager for IDEAg Group which puts on Dakotafest, said attendance on the first day of the 2021 show, Tuesday, Aug. 17, topped the first day attendance from 2019. Though figures weren't available for Wednesday, she said it seemed like a good turnout that day, too.

IMG_0424.JPG
Despite heat and wind on Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, Dakotafest still pulled in plenty of attendees to visit exhibitors and attend educational sessions. Jenny Schlecht / Agweek

MITCHELL, South Dakota — Dakotafest has come back strong after its one-year hiatus, bringing in crowds in its first two days despite oppressive heat.

The annual event, held in Mitchell, was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Niki Jones, marketing manager for IDEAg Group which puts on Dakotafest, said attendance on the first day of the 2021 show, Tuesday, Aug. 17, topped the first day attendance from 2019. Though figures weren't available for Wednesday, she said it seemed like a good turnout that day, too.

According to the National Weather Service, the high temperature on Aug. 17 in Mitchell was 96, set at 2:08 p.m. and on Aug. 18 was 95 set at 2:07 p.m. And Jones said crowds both days did thin in the afternoons.

However, Jones said exhibitors were pleased with the attendance. Attendees seemed excited to see the new implements after missing a year. Some were fueled by nostalgia for visits to farm shows in the past, while others were seemed to be particularly enjoying the food options at the show.

ADVERTISEMENT

IMG_0436.JPG
Mike Whitethorn, left, is the designer of The BurnBucket, and Jay Goldammer is in sales with the company. They said they had made numerous sales and were impressed with the crowds at Dakotafest. Photo taken Aug. 18, 2021, in Mitchell, South Dakota. Jenny Schlecht / Agweek

One business exhibiting its wares at Dakotafest for the first time was BurnBucket . The Madison, South Dakota, business is a "spin-off" of Global Polymer. BurnBucket, salesman Jay Goldammer explained, is an incinerator designed with farm use in mind. Goldammer said it's made of heavy gage steel and is meant as a replacement to the traditional burn barrel used on many farms and in rural areas.

Unlike the 55-gallon drums often used as burn barrels, Goldammer said the BurnBucket burns hotter, reducing materials inside "down to nothing." Plus, the hinged design allows for it to be picked up by a loader so whatever ash is leftover can be dumped out.

Goldammer said plenty of people at Dakotafest were interested in the BurnBucket because of burn bans due to the drought in the region. He said the company has made plenty of sales, and he and his coworkers seemed pleased with the reception.

"It's been a pretty steady flow," he said. "Four stars. Done well."

081821.N.DR.DAKOTAFEST_POLITICSFORUM5.jpg
Audience members listen to their congressional representatives talk during the Congressional update from Washington, D.C. forum on Tuesday morning during DakotaFest in the Education Building. (Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic)
Matt Gade

Besides checking out what exhibitors have to offer, Jones said programming at Dakotafest also seemed to be pulling people in. A political panel, consisting of South Dakota's Congressional delegation , on Tuesday drew a good crowd, and Jones said educational programming sponsored by Agweek, including a cattle market discussion on Tuesday and a hemp discussion on Wednesday, also seemed popular.

What's coming Thursday

Jones said Dakotafest plans to go out on high notes on Thursday. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem plans to visit and attend a Women in Ag event at 10 a.m. Following a panel discussion with four women in agriculture, this year's Dakotafest Woman Farmer/Rancher of the Year will be announced.

At 1 p.m., the final Agweek educational session will be held. The session, entitled, "How to Make Conservation Work for You," will feature farmers talking about how they have incorporated conservation and soil health efforts into their operations.

ADVERTISEMENT

Another expected highlight of Thursday morning is the 4-H and FFA Hay Bale Auction, slated for 11:30 a.m.. Several 4-H clubs and FFA chapters constructed art made of hay bales. The sculptures will be auctioned off, with the proceeds to go to the groups that created them.

Jones advised people who are interested in bidding to get their bids in early or be at the sale, on the northeast corner of the grounds, during the sale.

IMG_0429.JPG
A hay bale art piece by a 4-H club at Dakotafest in Mitchell, South Dakota, on Aug. 18, 2021. Jenny Schlecht / Agweek

IMG_0430.JPG
A hay bale art piece by an FFA chapter at Dakotafest in Mitchell, South Dakota, on Aug. 18, 2021. Jenny Schlecht / Agweek

IMG_0427.JPG
A hay bale art piece by an FFA chapter at Dakotafest in Mitchell, South Dakota, on Aug. 18, 2021. Jenny Schlecht / Agweek

IMG_0426.JPG
A hay bale art piece by an FFA chapter at Dakotafest in Mitchell, South Dakota, on Aug. 18, 2021. Jenny Schlecht / Agweek

IMG_0428.JPG
A hay bale art piece by an FFA chapter at Dakotafest in Mitchell, South Dakota, on Aug. 18, 2021. Jenny Schlecht / Agweek

ADVERTISEMENT

For more information on Dakotafest, visit https://www.ideaggroup.com/dakotafest .

Related Topics: AGRICULTURESOUTH DAKOTA
Jenny Schlecht is the director of ag content for Agweek and serves as editor of Agweek, Sugarbeet Grower and BeanGrower. She lives on a farm and ranch near Medina, North Dakota, with her husband and two daughters. You can reach her at jschlecht@agweek.com or 701-595-0425.
What To Read Next
More people are turning to small, local egg producers as a sharp rise in conventionally farmed egg prices impacts the U.S. this winter.
This week on AgweekTV, we hear from Sen. John Hoeven on the farm bill. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz puts ag in his budget. We reminisce with Mikkel Pates, and we learn about the origins of the skid-steer.
There's something about Red Angus that caught the eye of this Hitterdal, Minnesota, beef producer.
David Karki of SDSU underlined that planting cover crops like rye is not so much about big yield increases, but it will make the land more tolerant of fluctuations in weather.