Vendors excited to get back to business at WPS Farm Show

Amber Burke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Aaron Bauer with Kelly Tillage System explains how the discs work on the tillage system during the Wisconsin Public Service Farm Show in Oshkosh in 2019.

Agri-business exhibitors are excited to participate in the 60th WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh, March 29-31, two years after COVID forced the cancellation of the annual Wisconsin event.

Held at the EAA Grounds, the WPS Farm Show is an opportunity for agricultural businesses and the community to check out the latest in farm equipment, services and technology from around 400 exhibitors throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Businesses exhibiting in the tradeshow portion are eager to get back out and visit with customers in person, as well as promote new product offerings.

Rick Welak from Schraufnagel Implement in Lomira is looking forward to meeting and greeting new and old customers alike. "Since we are a local business, the farm show provides a great opportunity to talk to many of our existing customers, as well as find leads for new customers." 

"I think there will be a great crowd," Welak says "The event hasn't been held in two years. I'm excited to see what new and innovative products will be featured. There is such a variety of exhibitors, it's a great opportunity for not only farmers, but the general public as well." 

Area District Managers for Renk Seeds choose which farm shows they participate in each year, according to Jeff Renk, Sales Director for Renk Seeds. He says that the WPS Farm Show has proved to be valuable in generating new business leads for their organization. "You will see a large number of customers and dealers at this show, so it is a great way to connect with them in one place, at one time. Also, it provides our full-time office staff with the opportunity to visit with customers and dealers that they may not often get to see."

Julie Sweney, FarmFirst Dairy Cooperative says "We're excited to interact with our members and talk to them about whatever is on their minds. Whether it be milk prices, supply chain issues or updates on legislation, we want our members to know that we are here and advocating for any needs that they may have."

Despite the fact businesses foresee attendees being enthusiastic about returning to an in-person tradeshow, they are preparing for some challenging questions from farmers.

"For the most part our customers are very understanding about supply chain issues and how it has affected business," Welak says. "We are all struggling to get product, and most customers have been very gracious and patient in spite of long lead times. However, it probably won't prevent them from asking questions about when they can get new equipment, or what is the lead time for having my equipment repaired."

Renk also anticipates some supply chain crisis questions. "We are currently receiving more calls for product because farmers aren't able to get what they want or need from another dealer. I am guessing there will be a lot of discussions about product availability at the show."

In addition, with inflation and rising fuel costs, farmer and supplier decisions may shift throughout the spring. Renk says, "There will most likely be distribution challenges throughout the spring and into summer. The show will offer a great opportunity for farmers to engage with businesses to discuss their needs and planning options."

"The WPS Farm Show has established itself as a great event for farmers to come and see what is new and learn about the latest innovations and technology, as well as network with their peers," Sweney adds. "We are excited to connect with producers and discuss their concerns and learn how we can better support them."

For more information on the WPS Farm Show in Oshkosh visit www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/partners/agriculture/farm-show