It’s a diversified show, something for everybody that’s in farming and ranching of some form,” Bob Mancuso Jr., show director, says of the Triumph of Agriculture Expedition. The 48th annual show runs from March 12-13 at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
With more than 900 exhibits and covering the 200,000 square-foot arena, the Triumph of Ag Expo is a hands-on experience. Visitors can expect to see demonstrations from antique farm tractors and equipment, as well as displays from Camp Creek Threshers, Elkhorn Valley Antique Power Association, Keg Creek Antique Machinery Club, and more. Vendors on every level of CenturyLink Center will be showcasing their products, services, or farming and ranching equipment.
“The Nebraska Wheat Board will also be present at the show,” Mancuso says. “They’re going to have a mobile wheat unit that will highlight wheat, and they’ll be giving away cinnamon rolls, so that’s fun. People can try those and sample them.”
The Expo, which has vendors on a waiting list to participate, is one of the largest in the Midwest. Mancuso says organizers try to have really diversified options for both vendors and visitors.
“You know, Omaha—we’re right on the border,” Mancuso says, “so we definitely draw eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, even some South Dakota, Kansas, and Missouri. So it’s kind of a five-states-plus deal. You know there are people even from outside those five states that will come to the show.”
And it’s not just the farmers and ranchers that participate in the show. “You’d be surprised at how many people in the Omaha area are in agribusiness,” Mancuso says. “Like Midwest Laboratories is a longtime exhibitor, and they test soil samples, but they’re based right here in Omaha. They test soil all across the nation. They’re based right here, so they’ve got over 100 employees that are all involved in agribusiness.”
Besides the exhibits and vendors, the upper level of CenturyLink Center will host multiple seminars over the two-day span of the exposition, as well as an opening luncheon. Visitors can expect to hear speeches given by the presidents of the Omaha Agribusiness Club, the Chamber of Commerce Ag Council, and the National Agri-Marketing Association. The Agri Award, given for contributions in agribusiness, will also be presented during the luncheon.
“The Agri Award winner this year is Bill Northy, the Iowa Department of Agriculture head,” Mancuso says. “He will be speaking at the opening luncheon on the Wednesday. We’re excited to have him.”
The award presentation will kick off the biggest year in show history, with over 1,000 companies participating in the Expo. One thousand is actually a conservative estimate; a booth might house one, or there may be six or seven booths for each company or a local distributor. Two or three different companies could represent one booth. Whatever the arrangement, Mancuso says there’s always a high return rate for vendors.
“The Triumph of Ag Expo is always packed with lots of new improvements and helpful information,” says Brien McCready. He’s from John Deere’s A & M Green Power, as well as the show’s councilman.
Mancuso says they try to make it worthwhile for the farmers and ranchers out of respect for their busy schedules. Holding the event in March is meant to help farmers and ranchers in the off-season.
“In this area,” Mancuso says, “it’s known to be one of the last shows before the farmers and ranchers get out into the fields, and it’s great to come out and see what’s new in the world of farming and ranching. I mean, they’ll be in the fields from April on, so it’s one last time to come out and see products, services, and equipment.”
For those traveling from different states or even those who just want to spend a night Downtown, local hotels are offering packages for both exhibitors and visitors.
Mancuso states that hotel packages are available for attendees from outside the Omaha area who may have a variety of goals for their time in town. “If you want to stay overnight, or come in to see the show and stay, or come in one day and shop and see the different things in Omaha, we have sponsor hotels: the Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott which is right Downtown, the Sleep Inn and Suites kind of by CenturyLink Center, and the third one is the Horseshoe Casino Double Tree hotel in Council Bluffs.”
For the latest information on the Triumph of Ag Expo, visit showofficeonline.com/agexpo.