This year's Minnesota Farmfest and Dakotafest have been canceled.
IDEAg Group, which owns and producers both shows, called off the events because of COVID-19. IDEAg Group is owned by American Farm Bureau Federation.
Minnesota Farmfest was scheduled to take place Aug. 4-6 in Redwood County, Minn., for its 38th year. Dakotafest, which was set to celebrate its 25th anniversary, was scheduled for Aug. 18-20 in Mitchell, S.D.
“We announce this decision with great disappointment but the well-being of our exhibitors, attendees, staff, volunteers and their families is paramount,” said Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation in a press release.
Last year, the combined attendance of the two fests was estimated to be 54,200, said Niki Jones, marketing manager for IDEAg. She said the cancellation of the two major shows won't affect the company's ability to hold future fests.
"We're fully committed to 2021 for Farmfest and Dakotafest," she said. "We'll actually be able to get started sooner and are looking forward to planning them."
Jones said that both shows were "absolutely a possibility until the last minute," and the company was looking into ways to make the August dates still work.
"We wanted to make sure, and make the right decision for the safety and health of everyone involved in both shows, including our attendees," said Jones. "It came down to the fact that it could still become a liability issue, and we don't want anything bad happening on our watch."
IDEAg will still present the political forums of Farmfest for people to attend virtually.
“The Farmfest political forums are a highly anticipated part of our annual event, especially for the state’s ag industry and in this important election year,” said Melissa Sanders Carroll, executive director for IDEAg.
The company is working to make more events from the shows virtual and will provide updates via its website, Jones said.
The show dates for 2021 were also announced, with Farmfest set for Aug. 3-5 and Dakotafest for Aug. 17-19. For information about virtual events this year and about the 2021 shows, visit Farmfest.com and Dakotafest.com.