If you are looking for a chance to give back to the community and are interested in being a part of one of the largest farm shows in the country, promoters of the 2019 Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo/Tradeshow have a deal for you.
With the opening of the show looming next Wednesday, there are still a myriad of volunteer opportunities available, said Linn Hogg, director of RSVP/Volunteers in Action of Central Kansas. Her office is wrangling the volunteer army needed for the event.
The show is scheduled for Wednesday, April 10, through Friday, April 12, at Great Bend at the Great Bend Expo Complex west of town. The hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, April 12.
“Volunteers are such a necessary part of any event that happens in our community,” Hogg said. “The Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo has always showcased the willingness of Great Bend community members to help out. Here is the chance for those that have never been asked to step forward, help out and have some fun at the same time.”
Volunteers perform a number of tasks at the show, Hogg said. They help vendors set up and check in, make the rounds among the exhibitors to see if they need anything, help visitors park, giving rides to attendees around the show, and make sure the show runs smoothly and safely.
“We really need volunteer help with parking and zoning (chatting with vendors about their needs),” Hogg said. “These are two of the easiest volunteer jobs, but so very necessary for the success of the expo.”
The process to sign up is easy as well, she said. One just has to call her.
Hogg will either assist the volunteer with the sign-in, or will explain how they can go online and do it themselves.
“Honestly, I don’t think we could do it without them,” said Darren Dale, owner of Star Expos that puts on the event, of the volunteers. “They take time out of their busy schedules to help and that says a lot about who they are as people.”
It takes an force of 200-plus volunteers to make it happen, he said. The support he’s seen in Great Bend far surpasses any he sees at the other shows he stages.
The great thing, he said, is that with so many opportunities available, volunteers can give anywhere from 30 minutes to two-plus hours.
In its eighth year, the Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo includes hundreds of area, national and international vendors and covers 80 acres.