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KMOT Ag Expo returns

MINOT, N.D. -- Unless the weather favors hauling binned grain to town, most Upper Midwest farmers are looking for something to do in late January -- and that's good for the KMOT Ag Expo, a top show official says.

MINOT, N.D. - Unless the weather favors hauling binned grain to town, most Upper Midwest farmers are looking for something to do in late January - and that’s good for the KMOT Ag Expo, a top show official says.

“It’s a great time to hold it,” says Todd Telin, who manages the show in Minot, N.D. “This is kind of an event for people, if they’re not hauling grain.”

The 46th annual show, billed as the “largest indoor agricultural show in the Upper Midwest,” will be held Jan. 25 to 27 at the State Fair Center on the North Dakota State Fairgrounds. More than 350 exhibitors, covering more than 1,000 booths, will participate, and at least 30,000 people are expected to attend again this year.

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Doors open daily at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Admission and parking are free, and a heated shuttle bus takes visitors from the parking lot to the front door.

The show’s information booth offers a program with exhibitor maps and listings, as well as a seminar room schedule.

Dow AgroSciences, which will sponsor the Friday Jan. 25 show, is a new sponsor this year, Telin says.

Promotional material promises that attendees can “expect to see the latest in agricultural technology and equipment, along with several other exhibits that cover all areas of agriculture in western North Dakota.”

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The show draws from across the Upper Midwest and southern Canada, where farmers grow many of the same crops as their counterparts south of the border.

Most of the exhibitors are familiar faces at the show.

“When a show has been going on this many years, you get most of the same ones coming back,” says Telin, who expects 10 to 15 new exhibitors this year.

Also returning is the popular Living Ag Classroom, which teaches area fourth-graders about how their food gets from fields to grocery stores. More than 13,000 students, teachers and parents have participated through the years.

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Once, rapid growth in Minot could make it difficult to obtain hotel rooms, especially during big events such as the KMOT. But construction of 1,000 new hotel rooms since 2011, and the economic slump in western North Dakota’s Oil Patch, makes it much easier for out-of-town visitors to find lodging,  officials say.

Poor crop prices will have little, if any, impact on the this year’s show, Telin says.

“We’re really expecting another great show,” he says.

Agweek will also be in attendance and will cover topics from the event, which will appear on Agweek.com and in the following week’s edition of the magazine.

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