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2005 Farm Progress Show moves to semi-permanent location near Decatur

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[SEPT. 30, 2004]  DECATUR -- The 2005 Farm Progress show will be Aug. 30, 31 and Sept. 1, 2005, at a new, semi-permanent facility in northeast Decatur. The new location is adjacent to Richland Community College.

The nation's largest outdoor farm show is moving to a semi-permanent facility to reduce the risk of weather disruptions and to provide show visitors and exhibitors with additional facilities and exhibit features.

The show's move to this semi-permanent location includes extensive site development to provide upgraded facilities for show visitors and exhibitors. The show will alternate from year to year between the Decatur site and an Iowa location. In the past, the show rotated annually between Illinois, Indiana and Iowa.

The Illinois-Indiana semi-permanent site search was narrowed to four finalist locations earlier this year.

"Several prime Illinois and Indiana sites were considered for the show's semi-permanent, shared Illinois-Indiana location," said Don Tourte, director of national business development for Farm Progress Companies. "Our goal was to select a site that gives us the opportunity to provide world-class facilities and easy access for exhibitors and visitors. And we have done that," he said.

The show site will have easy driving access for visitors from all compass directions. Decatur is located 35 miles southwest of Champaign on Interstate 72 (from Interstate 74 in Indiana). Additionally, Illinois Route 48 and U.S. Route 51 provide primary access to the show site.

"The 52nd annual show will emphasize the show's continued dedication to progress by showcasing agriculture's innovations, information and technology in one of the nation's richest agricultural areas," Tourte said.

"Also, this is the first show held at an Illinois-Indiana location with the show scheduled one month earlier than usual," he said. The show dates were moved at visitors' and exhibitors' requests to avoid late-September's peak harvest-time conflicts.

The permanent show site will be comprised of 640 acres for exhibits and field demonstrations. The former "Tent City" exhibit area will be renamed "Progress City" for its permanent location as the venue's focal point. More than 200 acres of established sod will be used for primary visitor parking, plus adjacent fields are available for overflow.

The site will be developed in a manner similar to an industrial park -- providing electricity, telephone lines and drainage. Two cellular towers less than two miles from the show site will be upgraded during the show to provide additional line availability for cellular telephones.

More than 12,500 hotel rooms are located within 45 minutes of the show site in Decatur and nearby communities of Springfield, Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana.


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Richland Community College will close for the show and make campus facilities available for show use, as needed. Classrooms and an auditorium could be used for seminars and related events. The college's nursing and health wing will serve as the show's medical facility.

The Farm Progress Show is the nation's leading outdoor farm show and features the most extensive state-of-the-art information and technology available for today's agricultural producers with the latest agricultural equipment, products and services.

The annual gathering represents a tradition of rural community building with its educational offerings and has hosted many political leaders. Most recently, President George W. Bush visited the 2004 show near Alleman, Iowa. The country's top agribusinesses plus many regional and local manufacturers and suppliers are regular exhibitors. The Farm Progress Show has been the blueprint for other farm shows that have been started around the country.

The show's 50th anniversary was in 2003 near Henning, north of Danville, near the site where the first show took place in 1953.

Prairie Farmer and Indiana Prairie Farmer are the new site's show host publications. Wallaces Farmer is the Iowa site host publication. The Farm Progress Show is owned by Farm Progress Companies, located in Carol Stream.

About Farm Progress Companies

Farm Progress Companies Inc. is the largest U.S. media company serving the agricultural market. The company's division headquartered in the suburban Chicago area publishes state, regional and national farm publications, such as Prairie Farmer, Nebraska Farmer and Farm Futures, a nationally circulated publication for high-volume producers. The division operates five farm trade shows, including the Farm Progress Show and Husker Harvest Days. Additionally, this division provides marketing services, including database, market research and custom publishing.

Additionally, Farm Progress' Minnetonka, Minn., division publishes Feedstuffs, the weekly newspaper serving U.S. and international agribusiness decision-makers involved in animal agriculture, as well as Tack 'n Togs, the leading magazine serving equestrian retailers. Farm Progress is wholly owned by Rural Press Limited. Rural Press, headquartered in New South Wales, Australia, which also operates agricultural and consumer media, printing and tradeshow businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

[Farm Progress news release]

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