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Midwest Farm Show brings agriculture community together in La Crosse



Farm talk will return to the La Crosse Center Wednesday and Thursday with the 42nd Annual Midwest Farm Show.

Bill Henry, show director, said the event is a catch-all for farmers and agribusinesses to showcase one-stop shopping under one roof.

“It’s a chance to get everybody together before the planting season starts to figure out their planting needs if they want to buy any new equipment.”

Born into the business, Henry’s father started the show. In more than four decades, the changing landscape in agriculture has also changed the event.

“A lot of farms have been going by the wayside,” Henry said. “It is sad to see, and we need some more young farmers and to keep kids in the farming family itself. Once that land is gone, it is gone.”

In addition to exhibitors that will include seed and implement dealers, Gunderson Health System will be at the event to provide free health checks for farmers.

“It is ironic that this is the one time a year that they will actually go in and see these people,” Henry said.

Henry noted in addition to a declining number of farm families, they have also seen their number of exhibitors slowly dropping.

“A lot of the people that were showing with us were 60 or 70-years-old and had been with us as long as my dad has been here,” Henry said. “A lot of the new people aren’t taking over some of these exhibits, so we are losing some, but we still have a nice, strong showing.”

The Midwest Farm Show is Jan. 8 and 9 at the La Crosse Center from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Admission is free and will include entertainment such as ventriloquist and comedian James Wedgwood.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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