KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Ag Connect concluded January 31 after three days of education sessions and equipment displays being checked out by farmers, crop consultants, ag retailers, equipment manufacturer executives, marketing managers and more industry leaders.
The equipment trade show provided a look at new original equipment manufacturer machinery and as well as parts and pieces manufacturers of the latest innovations that can be used in OEM machinery or as after-market attachments.
It appeared there were parts manufacturers trying to impress OEMs so that different parts manufacturers could possibly replace current manufacturer relationships, but few OEM engineers were identifiable in attendance.
Foreign OEM and parts manufacturers were also represented, and the appearance was that countries like Italy and Germany were trying to look for U.S. distribution or U.S. manufacturing business arrangements. Developing nations’ ag industry representatives, including government officials, were present with a big delegation from Africa. These developing nations’ officials are interested in ag equipment manufacturers investing in factories within their countries.
Obviously, the exhibitors and attendees were quite diversified with many different agendas.
The biggest draw for keeping the farmer, consultants and ag retailers in attendance was the educational sessions. Approximately 50 educational sessions and seminars were presented during the three days with none of them repeated. The most popular sessions were ones about production agriculture and new technological advancements; most of them had more than 100 attendees. The family business programs were well attended, too. The sessions most specific to manufacturing were titled “Masters and Mavericks” of manufacturing where top management of exhibitor companies talked about the future of agriculture in their specific segment of business.
Although it was billed as an equipment trade show, several non-equipment exhibitors participated—seed companies, crop protection manufacturers, farm associations, ag publications and more. The equipment manufacturers constructed the most elaborate displays, with DuPont Pioneer being the largest non-manufacturer booth.
Even though Ag Connect is being held semi-annually, the organizers are looking for the widest audience and trying to be the biggest ag trade show in the U.S. The next Ag Connect is scheduled to be held in Indianapolis in 2015.