Exhibitors have spread across on an 80-acre tract of land near Boone for this week’s Farm Progress Show. It starts tomorrow, August 31st, and ends on September 2nd. Dena Morgan, the national marketing specialist for the Farm Progress show, says over 500 companies will have displays on the exhibit field.

“As far as attendance, we don’t release figures,” Morgan says. “But, you know, it’s hundreds of thousands of people that come over the three days.” A number of new pieces of ag equipment will be “launched” at the show. “Case and New Holland both have new tractors. Hagie is launching a new sprayer. John Deere has a new Gator,” Morgan says. “So lots and lots of things for farmers to come and check out.” All of the outdoor exhibitor lots are “sold out,” according to the event’s website.

The first-ever Farm Progress Show was held on an Illinois farm on October 2nd, 1953 and was a collaboration between a magazine called “Prairie Farmer” and W-L-S Radio in Chicago. “They wanted to show how farming was progressing, so that’s where it came from, being the ‘Farm Progress Show,'” Morgan says. “And it has just grown and evolved from there.” Over the last five decades the show rotated among different sites in Iowa, Illinois and Indianan but in 2005 the show was held at newly-established permanent site near Decatur, Illinois.

This the first time the show will be held on the site near Boone. “And we rotate between these two locations every other year, with even numbered years being in Boone and odd-numbered years being in Decatur,” Morgan says. Organizers say the event is the nation’s largest outdoor exhibition of farm equipment, seeds, ag technology and livestock handling equipment.