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Heading to Big Iron? Check out what's planned for this year

Big Iron Farm Show is scheduled for Sept. 15-17 in West Fargo, N.D.

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Despite rainy conditions, the 2019 Big Iron Farm Show drew large, enthusiastic crowds. (Trevor Peterson / Agweek)

WEST FARGO, N.D. — The 40th Big Iron Farm Show is scheduled for Sept. 15-17 at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo.

The show, at 1805 Main Ave. in West Fargo, runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 15 and 16 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 17. Entry to the show is free, as is parking. Big Iron will be held rain or shine, but extreme weather, depending on its severity, could delay or close the event.

Every year, attendees come to Big Iron to see demonstrations, visit exhibit booths, connect with their peers and attend training sessions.

Big Iron events and exhibits cover more than 200 acres of ground. Golf carts can be rented through All Season Motorsports, Booth 1800, or by calling 701-282-2336. If you are bringing your own golf cart, a golf cart license must be purchased for $25. Free shuttle service throughout the grounds will be provided.

Health and safety

North Dakota Living is sponsoring a variety of health and safety information at Big Iron this year. The exhibits at the Health and Safety Center in the Horticulture Building will provide resources for staying safe on the farm and ranch. The Health and Safety Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day of Big Iron.

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“While we are not offering the usual health screenings, we are still sharing information on health and safety and are still holding the hearing screenings,” says Duane Crabbe, advertising manager and organizer of the annual health event for North Dakota Living.

North Dakota Living, the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives and the North Dakota Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives also will have an informational booth at the Hartl Ag Building at AL7-AL9A.

What’s available:

  • Hold onto your hearing: The Minnesota State University-Moorhead speech-language-hearing department, in partnership with the FM Sertoma Club, will be conducting free hearing screenings in a portable audio booth and handing out free sets of earplugs. “Getting your hearing screened is important, especially for farmers who are exposed to noisy equipment on a regular basis,” says Vicki Riedinger, clinical director. “Getting a hearing screening annually will help you know if you’re doing enough to protect your hearing. If you don’t pass the hearing screening, it is recommended that you go in for an evaluation.”

  • Learn about vocational rehabilitation: The North Dakota Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Rural Services are available to farmers, ranchers and people living in the rural community who are experiencing difficulties doing their job because of a permanent injury, illness or impairment. During the Big Iron Farm Show, free information will be available on services that may be provided through DVR.

  • Learn to save lives: Farming causes many life-threatening injuries each year. At the Essentia Health booth, you can learn basic skills that may save your life or the life of someone you know, including hemorrhage control methods with an overview of the “stop the bleed” basic concepts; early heart attack care and ways to help prevent heart attacks with hands-only CPR basic concepts. You also will be able to practice these hands-on skills.

  • LSSND Farm-to-Farm Therapy: Learn more about the Farm-to-Farm Therapy program offered by Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, which allows anyone with internet access, streaming capabilities and a mobile phone, tablet or laptop to speak to professional therapists with real-world ag experience from the privacy of their homes or tractors. The farm counseling program is provided through a statewide telehealth network that was developed to be accessible, convenient, private, individualized and affordable. It is led by an experienced social worker and farm wife who understands that farming and ranching aren’t simply jobs — they’re a way of life. Providers include Becky Kopp-Dunham, an expert on farm and rural stress whose husband farms near Hawley, Minn., and Sarah Wicks, a Jamestown, N.D.,-based licensed clinical social worker, pastor’s wife and mom who owned and managed a farm with her spouse prior to her social work career. If finances are a concern, LSSND leaders will access a federal grant to help offset some or all counseling costs for farm and ranch families. Learn more at https://www.lssnd.org/farmstress , by emailing beckyk@lssnd.org or lesleyg@lssnd.org , or by calling 701-223-1510.

  • Accidents can be avoided: The Cass County Sheriff’s Department will partner with local rural fire departments to share information to keep farmers and ranchers safe, including information on ATV and UTV safety. “With the increased incidents involving injuries and also deaths, we really want to focus on the safety part of it,” said Cass County Sheriff’s Capt. Dean Haaland. “We’ll be there to answer any questions people may have.”

Issues and events

Big Iron’s Issues and Events Center, with daily topics put on by the Red River Farm Network, this year will be in Barn 2, larger than the space formerly used for that purpose.

“Being in Barn 2 will allow for more social distancing … to still provide the discussions that they normally do,” said Breann Lenzmeier, marketing and sponsorship coordinator for the Red River Valley Fair Association.

The schedule features a variety of topics across the spectrum of agriculture:

Sept. 15

  • 10:30 a.m.: A Conversation with Ag Commissioners (featuring North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring and Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen).

  • 1:30 p.m.: Market Outlook Seminar (featuring Tommy Grisafi of Advance Marketing, DuWayne Bosse of BOLT Marketing, and Kristi Van Ahn-Kjeseth of Van Ahn and Company).

Sept. 16

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  • 10:30 a.m.: How Will Agriculture Look in the Post-COVID 19 World? (featuring Marc Knisely of AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Frayne Olson of North Dakota State University and Lynn Paulson of Bell Bank)

  • 1:30 p.m.: Market Outlook Seminar (featuring Betsy Jensen of Northland FBM, Bryan Doherty of Total Farm Marketing, and Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management).

  • 2:30 p.m.: Land Values Seminar.

Sept. 17

  • 10:30 a.m.: Weather Outlook (featuring Daryl Ritchison, NDSU NDAWN Director).

  • 1:30 p.m.: Market Outlook Seminar (featuring Jenna Knutson of The Arthur Companies, Mike Krueger of World Perspectives, and Bret Oelke of Innovus Agra).

Awards

Each year, the Big Iron Farm Show Committee critiques and evaluates the exhibit booths. With more than 900 exhibit booths, it is quite an honor to be chosen as the top booth of the Big Iron Farm Show.

Judging of indoor and outdoor exhibit space will be scored on three main categories: overall company image, personnel, booth/lot.

2019 award winners

Best Field Demo — North Dakota State University Extension Service

Overall Best of Show — NTD No Till Drills Services and Repair

Best Outdoor Display 1st Place — Butler

Best Outdoor Display 2nd Place — Hamilton Systems Inc.

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Best Large Indoor 1st Place — IntelliFarms North Division

Best Large Indoor 2nd Place — High Plains Industries LLC, Makers of the Snirt Stopper

Best Small Indoor 1st Place — Edison Lighting Supply

Best Small Indoor 2nd Place — Tough-T Manufacturing

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