Farmer Vacation to the Ag Connect Expo

My farmer husband and I took a drive to a little farm show in Kansas City last week.

Kansas City, Missouri Skyline
The Kansas City skyline as we drove in on I-70. This was one of the few times we were actually on an Interstate.

Okay, so the trip was actually 2,000 miles and the little farm show was the Ag Connect Expo which drew a crowd of 11,000. But, who’s keeping track?

Ag Connect advertisement in Successful Farming Magazine

We heard about Ag Connect through a direct mailing, RFD-TV and a few of the farming magazines we receive. It looked like a really interesting convention that featured a huge trade show, many education sessions and panel discussions from some of today’s greatest innovators in farming. My husband has really grown his farm operation over the last few years and we’re interested in continuing that growth. We thought Ag Connect would be a good way to get ideas and information.

Grain elevator in Southern Kansas
One of the many grain elevators we passed as we traveled through Kansas on our way to the Ag Connect Expo in Kansas City, Mo.

So, we both took a week off of work, packed our bags and trekked from Wheatland, Wyo. to Kansas City, Mo. We made a real road trip out of it and took two-lane highways as much as possible. We drove through many small towns and saw miles and miles of farm land. We even stopped at a tourist trap or two. We thought it was great fun!

The World's Largest Ball of Twine at Cawker City, Kansas
The “World’s Largest Ball of Twine” in Cawker City, Kansas. A tourist trap, but fun nonetheless!

Immediately after arriving at Ag Connect we were really glad we’d decided to come. The Kansas City Convention Center boasted more than 220,000 net square feet of exhibit space and more than 400 exhibitors filled it all up. It featured everything from huge John Deere and Case IH displays to smaller booths brimming with the latest industry tools and technology. It took us three days to get through the whole thing!

Ag Connect Expo in Kansas City
The Ag Connect Expo boasted more than 400 exhibitors featuring the latest innovations, technology and tools for modern agriculture.

We were able to get some really great one-on-one time with the real decision makers in the company’s we work with (and also some new companies we plan to work with). There were engineers, vice presidents and heads of departments on hand who were able to answer questions and receive feedback. We even saw some folks from back home! My friend Emily Priebe from Riverton, Wyo., who is a product specialist with John Deere, was there to talk about the latest innovations in John Deere combines. She impressed us with her knowledge of their products and advice for how they could fit our operation.

Ag Connect Expo 2013 John Deere booth
My husband, Tyler, and I had a blast at Ag Connect! Here we are on the last day at the John Deere booth. My friend Emily (who is also “the combine gal” for John Deere) took our picture in front of the corn chopper on display.

I was also impressed by the international representation at the show. About 11 percent of the attendees came from outside the US, with more than 50 countries represented. I personally saw or met folks from the Democratic Republic of Congo, India, China, Germany and Italy.

Ag Connect Expo in Kansas City, Mo.
Many countries were represented at Ag Connect. Germany and Italy both had sections in the exhibit hall featuring technology from their countries.

There were also several panel discussions hosted by Successful Farming that took place throughout the expo. We heard from some real “masters and mavericks” including Gregg Halverson of Black Gold Farms whose operation is located in 10 states and Kip Tom of Tom Farms who farms in the US (Indiana) and Argentina. We also had a blast sitting in the audience of a live taping of US Farm Report at the Case IH booth. If you ever have the opportunity to hear US Farm Report’s John Phipps speak, I strongly recommend it.

John Phipps and Chip Flory at the Ag Connect Expo live taping of the US Farm Report
We sat in the audience of a live taping of the US Farm Report (an ag news TV show) during the Ag Connect Expo. The stage was set up in the middle of Case IH’s huge display.
US Farm Report's John Phipps speaks during Ag Connect
John Phipps of US Farm Report spoke during the live taping.

My husband and I also attended several of the education sessions that took place throughout the expo. We enjoyed presentations on managing for profit, precision agriculture, a “Mavericks of Agriculture” panel, social media, business management and farm policy. These were just a few of the sessions offered.

The "Tribine" was one of the biggest hits at Ag Connect this year. This new innovation is a combine that also holds 1,000 bushels of grain (enough to fill a semi trailer).
The “Tribine” was one of the biggest hits at Ag Connect this year. This new innovation is a combine that also holds 1,000 bushels of grain (enough to fill a semi trailer).

We came back with our brains loaded and lots of reference materials to drive us in the coming years of farming. We’re also marking our calendars for the 2015 show in Indianapolis! If you’re interested in learning more about Ag Connect, visit

From RealFarmWife Liz Lauck – Wheatland, Wyo.

6 thoughts on “Farmer Vacation to the Ag Connect Expo

  1. Hey, Liz. So glad I found your blog. My husband was the speaker for Managing for Profit, Bill Graff. This is an excellent summary post of the show and your trip. I was impressed by the international flavor as well. I’m going to link to your site from my facebook page as a meet the farm blogger.

    If you ever have any blog questions let me know. It’s a specialty of mine.

    1. Hi Judi! So nice to “meet” you! My husband attended Bill’s first session and really appreciated the information presented. Thank you so much for linking to RealRanchers from your site and for the offer for blog advice. We’ll be in touch!

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