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Growth continuing at Ag Show

By Staff | Feb 13, 2015

Tim Chapman/PCT A hog, provided by Ben and Greg Mack, sleeps in his pen during the North Central Ag Show last week. The hog weighed 1,078 pounds.

In 12 years, the North Central Ag Show has continued to grow. This year’s show was no exception.

There were 35 vendors at this year’s showing at the Rugby Armory last week, four of which were new: Hardware Hank of Rugby, which was displaying Toro equipment; Haugen Sales of Wyndmere; Triple M Ranch of Balta and Blumhagen Construction of Drake.

“It’s been really positive,” said Mike Haugen, of Haugen Sales, about the community’s response to his showing. The company sells ag and feeder equipment for cattle. Haugen had been through the area last year, but missed out on that ag show. He recalled picking up a flyer at a gas station and wanting to get involved.

Two Rugby businesses who had been at previous shows returned this year to set up booths: i design and Rugby Veterinary Service.

Attendees had an opportunity to learn new things from guests speakers. NDSU Extension livestock specialist Kris Ringwall presented, “Pondering Effective Beef Cattle Management” in the morning. In the afternoon, Tim Semler of Willow City-based T/S Farm Management LLC discussed “2014 Farm Bill Decisions.”

While attendees got to see old and new faces at this year’s show, they also had opportunities to win different prizes. The Rugby FFA chapter held a contest the day of the show in which participants could guess the weight of a hog for $1. Half of the proceeds would go to the FFA, while the other half would go to a lucky winner. The winner was Bob Johnson, of Rugby, who won $120 with his 1,080-pound guess. The actual weight of the hog, provided by Greg Mack and Ben Mack, was 1,078 pounds.

Another prize was a door prize, an ice auger. Joe Fritel, of Rugby, won that.

Planning for the show begins the day after the previous year’s show ends. Organizers look at what evaluations they’ve received from show participants and attendees, as well as hot topics on which to book guest speakers. Last year participants said, according to event organizer Lila Harstad, that while they liked big shows they preferred the intimacy of smaller shows.

“I think we’ve got a nice combination of both,” Harstad said, “because we’ve got the availability to have some equipment in the show as well as the space. It’s small enough, but big enough.”

Harstad said that for future shows, organizers may eventually have to look at larger venues.

“We have just about outgrown (the Armory),” Harstad said.

For the past seven years, the ag show has been held at the Armory. Prior to that, the event was held in the pool area at the Econo Lodge, or what is now the Northern Lights Inn.

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