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Ag show coming to Rugby Armory

By Staff | Feb 1, 2019

More than 30 farm implement dealers, service providers and financial institutions will welcome the local agricultural community to the 15th Annual North Central Dakota Ag Show Friday at the Rugby armory.

Lila Harstad of KZZJ and KKWZ radio organizes the event along with the Red River Farm Network, American Ag Radio Network, the Rugby Chamber of Commerce/Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. Local financial institutions and businesses also help put the show together.

Harstad told the Tribune the show began in 2004. “There used to be shows in every little town the Harveys, and the Rugbys, and the Drakes and Anamoose, and the Mohalls; everybody had a show.”

“And then,” she continued, “it got to be that there were the big shows the Minots and the Bismarcks, and everybody went to those.”

Harstad said the bigger shows had room for equipment displays, but some found them lacking.

“We decided, back in 2004, what we missed was that camaraderie, the social (gathering) and the farmers getting together in the middle of winter,” she explained.

“So, the first time we had it in 2004, it was around the pool at the Econo Lodge. And so we had tables, and some of the vendors, so if you wanted to kick the tires (on equipment), you could do that at the big show,” Harstand noted.

“But the camaraderie and socialization with the other farmers, and the farmer and rancher appreciation that the chamber did we kind of put that all together under one roof, and the implement dealers and the financial institution presidents or loan officers got to be more one on one with the farmers.”

Harstad said the show grew steadily over the years, until organizers decided to hold it at the Rugby armory. The number of vendors increased as well, and the show began to feature some implement displays.

Harstad said this year the show will emphasize socialization more, and feature more booths from vendors, without the equipment displays.

“We used to have between 35-40 exhibitors; we might have more like 45 this year,” Harstad noted.

Tanner Johnson of Rugby’s First International Bank branch said he has organized the event with Harstad in the past.

“This event was organized with the Farmer and Rancher in mind,” Johnson wrote in an email to the Tribune. ” It is an opportunity for the area business owners to showcase themselves in an agriculture themed venue. Our community and its businesses count heavily on incomes generated by our farm and ranch families, so we wanted to give them a day to come to one place to visit with area business owners and/or employees and other farmers and ranchers.”

After the vendor show closes at 4:30 p.m., North Central Ag will host a social at the Rugby Eagles Lodge from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

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