sealPurdue News

September 6, 2001

Purdue shows off at the Farm Progress Show

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Every time the Farm Progress Show comes to Indiana, Purdue University is among its largest exhibitors. But this year, with the show practically in its backyard, Purdue is putting together its biggest – and most ambitious – exhibit yet.

The Farm Progress Show, which features the latest in farm technology, takes place Sept. 25-27, on a 1,500-acre site just south of Lafayette, Ind. between Tippecanoe County roads 700 S. and 800 S., west of U.S. 52.

Organized by the Farm Progress Companies, the show is the largest of its kind in the Midwest and is expected to attract up to 300,000 visitors.

"The show essentially has anything and everything to do with agriculture," said show manager Keith Ryan. "Instead of traveling around the country to see shows specific to one area of agriculture, people can see everything in one location."

"The show's location just a few miles from campus lets us do some things we normally couldn't at other Farm Progress Show sites," said Dana Neary, events coordinator for the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service. One of the most notable is a five-acre corn maze in the shape of the Purdue mascot, the Boilermaker Special, which has taken several months and a team of Purdue School of Agriculture faculty and staff to create.

Visitors can explore its miles of trails and even use global positioning system (GPS) satellite receivers and hand-held mapping and navigation software programs that were used for the maze's design and construction. Those who successfully navigate the maze will receive "I survived the Boiler Mazer" stickers and posters.

The Purdue display area will be located at the northwest corner of the 80-acre exhibit field, which has become known as "Tent City." The university is among the more than 400 exhibitors at the show, which annually rotates among Indiana, Illinois and Iowa.

"Purdue plays a big role in the Farm Progress Show," Ryan said. "In addition to all of the information that is provided in its exhibits, many people have roots that go back to the university and want to maintain the connection."

The Sustaining Family Farms and Rural Communities tent has a variety of exhibits and resources dedicated to helping preserve family farms and rural communities.

"The exhibits should give people new ideas to think about and consider as they think about their family farms," said Eileen Kladivko, professor of agronomy. "In addition to Purdue Extension, other agencies and organizations will also show how they can assist new farm-based businesses."

A product display area will feature products and services from Indiana farm families who have successfully implemented new value-added enterprises, ranging from canned, pasture-fed beef to farm-based bed-and-breakfast operations. Other exhibits will include advances in technology, plots of specialty crops and other unique plants, and a resource center with Internet access and a browsing library. The exhibit is funded in part by a Kellogg Foundation grant.

The Purdue Extension display tent will include exhibits on weather-related safety and disasters, land-use planning and how it affects water resources and wildlife, safety tips for online shopping, and risk management on the farm. Visitors also can navigate their way through a 4-H maze, find out if they're at risk for skin cancer or ask plant care questions at the Plant Wellness Center.

From something as traditional as hatching chicks, or as high-tech as using microchip IDs in animals, the Purdue Animal Agriculture tent will showcase displays from the Department of Animal Sciences, the Animal Disease and Diagnostic Laboratory and the School of Veterinary Medicine. Among the other displays will be food animals and biosecurity, computers and distance education, and animal diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease and mad cow disease. In addition, visitors also can see an ultrasound of pigs and demonstration of foot care for horses.

A student information tent will host Purdue students and faculty representing nearly every department in the School of Agriculture, as well as the schools of Consumer and Family Sciences and Veterinary Medicine and offices of Admissions and Academic Programs in Agriculture. Prospective students and parents can ask questions about fields of study at Purdue and career options in those areas.

Other display tents will house exhibits on site-specific farming and agronomy. The Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association will sell Purdue items in a courtyard area at the university's display. And an antique threshing show will take place adjacent to the Purdue tents.

More information on Purdue's presence at the Farm Progress Show is available on the Purdue Extension Web site. Photos and audio from the show will be posted at this site during the show's three-day run.

Admission to the Farm Progress Show is $5 for adults and $2 for youth 13-17. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Show hours are 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Sources: Dana Neary, (765) 494-9113; e-mail,

Keith Ryan, (765) 523-4377; e-mail,

Eileen Kladivko, (765) 494-6372

Writer: Olivia Maddox, (765) 496-3207; e-mail,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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