Mychal Wilmes a staple at the Agweek Farm Show

Mychal Wilmes has been attending the Agweek Farm Show since 1983.

Mychal Wilmes has been coming to the Agweek Farm Show since 1983 and spoke about its history. Photo taken March 7, 2023 in Rochester, Minnesota.
Katie Pinke / Agweek

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The 41st annual Agweek Farm Show was held in Rochester, Minnesota, this week.

While I have been with Agweek for just shy of three years now, this was my first time attending. The same thing cannot be said for Mychal Wilmes who first attended the event in 1983.

Mychal Wilmes is a beloved Agweek columnist. His stories burrow themselves into his readers’ hearts and make a long lasting impression on them. My own mother has made many comments during our long distance phone calls about how great his latest column was. This was evident during the Agweek Farm Show, where attendees would stop and talk to Wilmes.

“You know, the farm show is like family. Some people I've seen every year for a long, long time. They remember me and we talk about what they’re doing and how it’s going. It’s great,” Wilmes said.

The farm show used to be a three day event. Wilmes has been attending the Agweek Farm Show for 40 years and has seen the show, and agriculture, evolve right in front of his eyes.


“The equipment has gotten bigger and more sophisticated that’s for sure. There’s a lot more diversity as farming has diversified,” Wilmes said. “It’s one of agriculture’s great strengths.”

The Agweek Farm Show is held in Rochester and is nestled up into the southeast corner of the state. Wilmes says this area is fruitful and full of diversity. He lists organic, niche crops and livestock as some of the markets that hold strong in this part of Minnesota.

Wilmes grew up on a diversified farm in south central Minnesota that included hogs, beef cattle and dairy. While he says it was a busy life, it was a fun life. He particularly enjoyed milking the cows, which he said was unusual among his family, so the job would usually fall on his shoulders. But, it was one he accepted happily. Wilmes has seen the trials and tribulations of the ag industry over his lifetime, but he believes that ag is currently having a shining moment in the world.

“They used to talk about a golden age in agriculture and I think we’re in the middle of one right now. The world needs food desperately,” he said.

Emily grew up on a small grains and goat farm in southern Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University, she moved to Fargo, North Dakota to pursue a career in ag journalism with Agweek. She enjoys reporting on livestock and local agricultural businesses.
What To Read Next
Get Local