New technology, new equipment, and new vendors are just some of the things producers will see when they attend the Montana Agricultural and Industrial Expo (MAGIE) which will take place Jan. 17-19 at the Montana ExpoPark in Great Falls, Mont.
As always, KMON radio is organizing the MAGIE, which attracted over 13,000 visitors during the three day expo last year.
This year all the favorite vendors will be back with a collection of new vendors. On Thursday, Jan 17, Reinke and Watson Irrigation will sponsor the MAGIE, which will be open that day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Friday, Jan. 18, Torgersons will take over the sponsorship.
“They are also celebrating their 100th anniversary in business,” said Jim Sargent, ag director at KMON radio. Doors will open that day at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. Saturday’s sponsor will be the Montana Grain Grower’s Association. “It’s their first time, so we are excited for that,” said Sargent. The MAGIE will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day.
On all three days, Sargent said visitors will stroll through a full floor of 220 booths.
“Technology is always big and there is some new technology coming in,” he said. There will also be a number of seminars producers can take part in.
On Thursday, Jan. 17, at 1 p.m., the USDA will share crop numbers, census facts, agricultural statistics and information on their services. The NRCS will present a joint seminar with the USDA, as well as a separate informational session on the Farm Bill. The NRCS will also have an open discussion on soil health.
“They had quite a turnout for that in Conrad. They will talk about the condition of your soil and what you need to do to improve it,” Sargent said.
At 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, Blake McKibbin, director of advanced markets from J.D. Farm Bureau Financial Services in West Des Moines, Iowa, will provide information on Estate and Business Succession Strategies for family owned business (farms and ranches).
The 1 p.m. seminar on Saturday, Jan. 19 will feature Bruce Wright. “Bruce is the vice-president of the Montana Farm Bureau and he just got back from their national convention. He will talk about that and what they plan for the coming year,” Sargent said.
Also speaking on Saturday will be John Youngberg, who will join Wright to discuss what they plan to fight for in this year’s Montana legislative session.
“Of course the FFA will be there again,” he said. “They are an important part of the MAGIE.” The MAGIE will play host to several FFA and 4-H student contests with top individuals receiving $150 scholarships provided by the support of several sponsors. Sargent said sponsors of the scholarships include Mountain View Coop, Stockman Bank, Western Livestock, Montana Grain Growers Association, Torgersons, Northwest Farm Credit Services, and the Eric Dawson Family. Nearly 600 4-H and FFA members will participate in the contests. Also this year there will be a bull show in the FFA building. They will have some breeders bring in their bulls and stay on hand to answer questions.
“There is a lot of interest in the agriculture industry,” said Sargent.
The MAGIE allows those who live in agriculture country to find the answers they need while those who are interested in learning more about agriculture can also come and have their questions answered. Tickets to attend MAGIE are free at any MAGIE exhibitor prior to the show or $5 at the door. The doors for the MAGIE will open at 9 a.m. each day.