LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The National Farm Machinery Show has offered the most complete selection of cutting-edge agricultural products, equipment and services available in the farming industry.
Business professionals from around the world gain knowledge and hands-on access to various technological advancements needed for the upcoming farming season during the four-day show.
The year’s event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 12-15 at the Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville.
The Kentucky Exposition Center is completely filled with 890 exhibitors, making it the country’s largest indoor farm show.
Nearly every major line of farming equipment will be on display allowing attendees to compare products side by side.
The most innovative technology and new product launches are available to agribusiness professionals, as well as alternative energy information and solutions to the challenges facing today’s agribusiness industry.
In addition to seeing the newest products on the market, visitors can attend free seminars led by industry experts.
Take a break from the show floor and explore the aisles of the new and expanded Gift & Craft Market in the South Wing Mezzanine of the Kentucky Exposition Center. In the Gift & Craft Market, you’ll find unique merchandise for the whole family that won’t break your budget.
Browse through over 80 booths for special gifts, souvenirs for friends, toys and collectibles for the kids and unique accessories for the house.
The agricultural industry has continued to evolve. Rural family farms marked the landscape before big business boomed. Americans, who once relied on subsistence farming, shifted to large-scale, industrialized, vertically integrated “agribusiness.”
Yet through the boom and bust, the traditions and the new conventions, the National Farm Machinery Show has found a niche that satisfies the changing needs of developing farmers.
Two shows shaped the beginnings of the National Farm Machinery Show. In 1963, the University of Kentucky sponsored an electricity demonstration and exhibit for farmers in Lexington. That initial show opened the door, eventually expanding to include more types of power including agricultural power.
In addition, the most prominent and popular commercial exhibitors during the first 40 years of the Kentucky State Fair were related to the farming industry.
Power equipment valued at half a million dollars at the Farm Implement Show took up more than 30 acres of the fairgrounds. Due to its popularity and the growing agricultural interests in the region, many knew the time was ripe to expand.
Ultimately, in February 1965, a few hundred farmers, salesmen and crop experts gathered in the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center to start a farm show. That year, commodity prices were high and farmers were experiencing record-high profits.
The farm show then added an entertainment element four years after its inception with the Championship Tractor Pull. In 1969, the first Championship Tractor Pull was the first major indoor event in Freedom Hall and attracted 66 tractors in three classes.
Now the nation’s oldest tractor pull continues to enjoy popularity with people whose heroes are farmers and whose obsessions revolve around machinery and horsepower.
Louisville’s location in the agriculturally-rich Midwest and Southern corridor was accessible and attractive to farm equipment manufacturers and dealers from around the nation.
The exhibitors found an organized show in a central location where they could display their agriculture products, services and equipment to an interested audience of professional and recreational farmers. The once-tiny farm show is now the nation’s largest indoor ag trade show and plans to host over 300,000 attendees and exhibitors.
Salespeople and industry experts spread over 27 acres of interconnected indoor exhibit space educating farmers and looking for potential buyers. The show, now in its fifth decade, showcases innovative technology, new product launches and alternative energy, among others.
In addition to gaining hands-on access to the newest and most innovative products on the market, attendees will also benefit from the selection of free seminars led by some of the industry’s top experts.
Industry officials and manufacturers seem to universally agree that, while large equipment sales remain strong, significant opportunities exist with the smaller-acreage farming machines.
And that bodes well for the staying power of the National Farm Machinery Show. With more than 900 booths, the show floor provides farming equipment, technology and gear for every attendee.
Because the show is early in the farming season, it tends to help forecast the season to come. A feat foreshadowed by then-Kentucky Gov. Edward Breathitt, who remarked at the opening address of the second annual National Farm Machinery Show that the future of the show has “untold educational benefits” and “a myriad of other possibilities (for the) agricultural industry.”
Plan Your Visit
Dates: Wednesday, Feb. 12 through Saturday, Feb. 15
Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Location: Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, KY 40209
Prices: Parking is $10 for cars and $20 for buses.
Seminars: Seminars are free for all attendees.
From I-65 Northbound: Exit at the Fair/Expo Center, Exit 131B, and follow the signs to Gate 1, the main entrance.
From I-65 Southbound: Take the Exit 132 to Crittenden Drive and merge to the far left. Gate 4 to the Fair/Expo Center will be directly on the left after the Cracker Barrel restaurant. Or, continue along Crittenden Drive to Gates 3 and 2, which will be on the left.
From I-264 Westbound: Exit at the Fair/Expo Center, Exit 11, and follow the signs to Gate 1. Or, proceed further to Crittenden Drive to enter Gates 2, 3 or 4. Exit 12 is Preston Highway, Highway 61. Take a right off the exit and follow Preston to Gate 6, which will be on the left between Sleep Inn and Thornton’s Gas Station.
From I-264 Eastbound: Exit at the Fair/Expo Center, Exit 11, to Crittenden Drive. Proceed to Gates 2, 3 and 4 which will be on the right. Or, continue past the Crittenden Drive exit to I-65 and Fair/Expo Center, Exit 12, and follow the signs to Gate 1.
The Kentucky Exposition Center has more than 19,000 parking spaces. Parking is $10 for cars and $20 for buses.
There are four entry gates at the Kentucky Exposition Center.