For the first time in history, the Farm Progress Show won’t go on.
It was announced yesterday that both Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days are being cancelled for 2020 due to rapidly changing conditions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While state and local officials had expressed support for both shows, Don Tourte, Senior Vice President, Farm Progress said that in a very short time it became apparent that the situation across the US had rapidly changed.
“We have been working with officials in Iowa and Nebraska for our shows, and we appreciate the support they expressed for us to hold the events,” Tourte says. “They are critical partners to us, and we are all disappointed to not host the events this year, but feel confident that this is the right decision for our community.”
One of the key features of both shows is their attraction to visitors from across the country, and across the globe.
Farm Progress Events Manager Matt Jungmann says they were committed to hold both shows until more than half the United States saw a significant spike in new cases of COVID-19. “Within the next two weeks tents and other work would be underway on site. We had to make a decision based on the current landscape so that our exhibitors and suppliers wouldn’t potentially waste valuable time and resources,” said Jungmann. “While we are hopeful that case numbers throughout the country will decrease soon, we felt compelled to make a proactive decision on our community’s behalf, given the information we have today.”
A virtual experience was already being planned as an extension to the live event, so Jungmann says the events team is gearing up to deliver a “robust and dynamic digital experience.”
“Market factors are changing fast, and we’ll have more information in the coming weeks about how our virtual experience will be expanded,” Jungmann says. “We have 400 acres of corn at two sites that have to be harvested. Ground that must be tilled. We’re looking at all of our options to ensure we keep our community connected and engaged.”