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The future of farming meets fun

Visitors get an up-close look at new machinery and equipment at the National Farm Machinery Show. Photo: Linda Doane
More than 1,500 vendors are expected at this year’s National Farm Machinery show. Photo: Danny Bolin
Visitors get a chance to talk with vendors and learn about upcoming trends. Photo: Danny Bolin
Go behind the scenes in The Pit and meet the drivers from the Championship Tractor Pull at Broadbent Arena. Photo: Linda Doane
Visitors look at the miniature farm on display at the Gift & Craft Market. Photo: Linda Doane

Get revved up for the 2023 National Farm Machinery Show

IN JUST A FEW WEEKS, visitors from across the world converge on Louisville to see the future of agricultural technology, services and equipment at the 2023 National Farm Machinery Show. 

From Wednesday, February 15, through Saturday, February 18, a quarter-million people are expected to visit more than 1,500 booths featuring the latest farm equipment at the Kentucky Exposition Center. They’ll attend seminars and enjoy Kentucky crafts, while thousands of fans fill Freedom Hall for the nation’s premier tractor-pulling event, the Championship Tractor Pull. 

The equipment displays, seminars and tractor pulls together have propelled the annual event into becoming the largest indoor farm show in the nation. 

“It’s going to highlight the latest innovations in farming and ag technology,” says David S. Beck, president and CEO for Kentucky Venues, which produces the show. “It’s a great place for farmers to network and grow, with free seminars and incredible exhibitors filling 1.2 million square feet of space.” 

Among the many exhibits are the latest equipment for field preparation, planting, seeding, crop protection and harvesting. Automated technologies on display could include everything from artificial intelligence to GPS-based technology. 

Pulling in the crowds 

The Championship Tractor Pull is the main entertainment draw, showcasing tractors with names like Git Er Dun Deere, Second Degree Burn, Blue Blazes and Bootlegger. These powerful machines often feature multiple engines, massive tires and exotic paint jobs. Each is built for one purpose: pulling a sled—many weighted with 50,000-60,000 pounds— several hundred feet down a dirt track. 

The goal of each driver is to reach an area called “the beach,” which is a pile of the same dirt that has been used since the origin of the event. 

Pulls take place from 7–10 each night in addition to a Saturday pull at noon. A list of classes and ticket information is available at https://champpull.org

“This is the 54th Championship Tractor Pull, the longest running indoor tractor pull in the country,” Beck says. “Fans will see the best-of-the-best in this invitation-only pull.” 

Around 200 competitors battle for $300,000 in prize money and grand champion bragging rights. Drivers from about 30 states typically are represented, along with competitors from Canada and overseas. 

“For a jockey, their dream is to win the Kentucky Derby, for NASCAR drivers it’s the Daytona 500 and for tractor pullers, it is to compete and win at the Championship Tractor Pull in Freedom Hall,” says Ian Cox, Kentucky Venue’s communications chief.

Leisure and learning 

Another major family-friendly attraction is the Gift & Craft Market in the South Wing. Visitors browse beautiful art, toys, Kentucky Proud products, delicious food and a miniature farm on display. 

The National Farm Machinery Show also offers opportunities to learn through seminars led by industry experts. Past shows have highlighted the latest marketing practices, skills to fine-tune crop production and ways to assess and manage risk. 

Attendees can watch a live taping of the U.S. Farm Report, a roundtable discussion on farm trends with tips on improving efficiency and savings. 

“Our seminars support and inform on critical subjects,” Beck says. “Last year, for example, one of our seminars discussed how to navigate the volatile used farm equipment market. In another seminar, we highlighted trends in automation on the farm and addressed labor shortages.” 

For a complete listing of the 2023 educational seminars, go to www.farmmachineryshow. org/visitors. 

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture also is on hand at the show to promote Raising Hope, a coalition that works with farm families to promote mental and physical health. 

“In a world that is highly unpredictable, we have built a reputation on sourcing and promoting the things that help farmers get things done,” Beck says. “There is no event like our show that offers accessible education or industry-leading products and services under one roof.” 

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