Like a well-tended vine, the Western New York Farm Show continues to grow and bear fruit — and it’s showing no signs of stopping.
The show will be held Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 7-9, at the Showplex on The Fairgrounds in Hamburg, N.Y. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The show is sponsored by The Evans Agency Insurance in Angola, N.Y., whose markets include agricultural and crop insurance.
Adding Saturday hours is just one way the third-annual event is expanding, said the show’s executive director, Alan Butzer. It’s a way of catering to part-time farmers who find it difficult to take time off through the workweek, he said.
“So many of our exhibitors requested Saturday hours specifically for that reason,” Butzer said.
The show is expanding in other ways, too, including a third building and an increase of about 15 exhibitors, to a total of around 125, he said.
“We are going to be at capacity for those three buildings,” Butzer said. “We’re actually filling up quite a bit more space.”
In addition to showcasing the latest equipment, technology and services available to western New York farmers, the show also will feature an expanded equipment auction, skid steer rodeo and youth dairy judging contest.
The auction, twice the size of last year’s, will include tractors, farm machinery, skid loaders, ATVs, aerial equipment and compact tractors. It will be conducted at 5 p.m. Friday by Roy Teitsworth Inc. of Geneseo, N.Y.
The skid steer rodeo will return again this year, testing an individual’s skills as he or she operates through an obstacle course. Contestants will compete in two classes, farm and landscape, and must have proof of a valid driver’s license. Cash prizes will be awarded.
The youth dairy judging contest will return this year with one twist: The contest will kick off at the Western New York Farm Show, but winners won’t be announced until the annual Spring Dairy Preview, held at the same location May 10-11, Butzer said.
And if the thrill of equipment and competition isn’t enough, for the first time this year the show will feature the popular hot beef sundaes, courtesy of the New York State Beef Producers Association.
One feature that will be missing this year is the lineup of educational workshops, which Butzer said will likely return in the future.
“We made a change that, until we had a space that we can really do a nice job for those workshops in terms of sound quality and presentation area, we’ve postponed (them) for about a year,” he said.
A new 60,000 square-foot building currently under construction at the fairgrounds will include a classroom presentation area. When that building becomes available, Butzer said, the workshops will return.
The Evans Agency Insurance began the show three years ago as a way to cater to the western New York farmer and to give back to the industry, Butzer said. All net proceeds from the show go toward agricultural youth, 4-H and FFA.
The inaugural Western New York Farm Show brought in $3,000 for the youth. Last year, that figure jumped to just over $11,000, Butzer said.
“We’re expecting that to grow each year,” he said.
With an extra show day, that shouldn’t be too difficult. Last year’s event drew approximately 10,000, and Butzer said he expects this year’s attendance to increase by about 50 percent with Saturday visitors.
And show organizers continue to look for more ways to grow in coming years. One possibility, Butzer said, would be a country music concert held after hours on one of the show days.
“It’s grown quite a bit,” Butzer said of the farm show. “We see a lot more growth coming in the future.”
For more information, visit www.wnyfarmshow.com.