Farm Progress Show, Husker Harvest Days canceled over COVID-19 concerns
"Our community’s safety is our priority, always," an organizer said.
Two of the nation’s largest outdoor producer gatherings will not happen this year, the event organizers announced June 29.
Farm Progress officials say the annual Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days will both be canceled for the first time in the events’ more than 65-year histories. The announcement comes about two weeks after the company said the Farm Progress Show would proceed as planned , but would include additional safety measures. But June 29, a company release cited “rapidly changing conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic” in its decision to call off the events.
"Within days of our commitment to hold both farm shows, more than half the United States saw a significant spike in new cases of COVID-19,” Matt Jungmann, the events manager for Farm Progress, said in a statement. “We have a multi-generational audience that travels from all across the country and around the world to attend the shows and based on that we felt it better to reconsider the traditional show for 2020 to prioritize the safety of all. Our community’s safety is our priority, always.”
The Farm Progress Show — which alternates between Iowa and Illinois every year — was originally scheduled to take place Sept.1-3 in Boone, Iowa. Husker Harvest Days was set to take place a couple of weeks later, Sept. 15-17, west of Grand Island, Neb.
The news is the latest in a wave of cancellations for events that have long been highlights for food and agriculture. State fairs across the country have also been canceled — including the events in Iowa, Indiana, and most recently Oklahoma — as well as similar farm shows that occur annually in Minnesota and South Dakota. Just last week, the National FFA Organization announced that its annual convention — which typically attracts more than 60,000 students and other stakeholders — would occur virtually in October.