Hundreds attend first day of North America Farm and Power Show in Owatonna - Owatonna MN: Owatonna Peoples Press

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Hundreds attend first day of North America Farm and Power Show in Owatonna

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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 5:15 pm | Updated: 7:52 pm, Thu Mar 14, 2013.

OWATONNA — Kevin Motl, a Blooming Prairie resident and farmer, has been to the North America Farm and Power Show in Owatonna every year for the last 10 years.

And this year is no different.

“I probably come out every year for one or two days,” Motl said.

Motl was one of hundreds of farm enthusiasts who came out Thursday morning for the first day of the farm and power expo at the Four Seasons Centre, where about 345 vendors and exhibitors offer a wide variety of machinery, services, tools, tires and information to area farmers under one roof.

“I came to see new products and anything that goes with farming really and to socialize,” said Motl, who started attending the show with his father and grandfather. “It’s fun to run into people you haven’t seen for a while and see the new technology.”

The show has been in Owatonna for 11 years. Before that, it was held in the Twin Cities.

Steve Guenthner, show manager, said the show not only appeals to southern Minnesota farmers, but also draws individuals from Wisconsin, Iowa, and both the Dakotas.

“I’m very pleased overall with the quality and the turnout of the show,” Guenthner said. “This is a typical turnout. I’m sure the snow held us back some, but last year it was too nice — when it was in the 70s — and farmers tend to want to do field work when it’s warm, so this is perfect weather for something like this.”

Guenthner said it’s a great show, a great location and there are lots of opportunities in Owatonna for those visiting. He said Cabela’s is a big draw, but it isn’t the only thing that brings people to town for the show.

“Big iron brings people, which means machinery brings people,” Guenthner said. “We have all the major tractor manufacturers here.”

Ziegler Cat, a Caterpillar equipment dealer in Minnesota and Iowa, has been at the show every year, Guenthner said.

Cory Ziegler with Ziegler Cat said the location and timing of the show is good.

“Usually by this time, it’s about two to three weeks from spring field work,” Ziegler said. “After a long winter, farmers are ready to look at spring field work and plan for fall harvest already.”

He agreed with Guenthner about the importance of machines at a show like this.

“The size of equipment continues to get larger and that follows the agriculture trend for great productivity,” Ziegler said.

Guenthner said the show makes it easy for farmers to find what they want.

“Rather than going from dealer lot to dealer lot, all this is in one place and local vendors know how to cater to your needs because they are from this area,” Guenthner said.

Motl said the show caters to farmers “very well” and gives him a lot of ideas for his Christmas wish list.

The North America Farm and Power Show, which also showcases “hot topics” in agriculture, will continue on March 15 and 16 in the Four Seasons Centre. The show’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission to the expo and parking on the Steele County Fairgrounds are free.

There are also seminars sponsored by Linder Farm Network and University of Minnesota Extension Service each day.

The seminars feature topics like farm succession planning, livestock updates, issues in manure management and irrigation.

Reach reporter Ashley Stewart at 444-2378 or follow her on Twitter.com @OPPashley

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