Here we go again.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been six years since the 3i Show packed its tents and left Great Bend for the last time. The biannual event which alternated between Great Bend and Garden City drew crowds to town, and filled motels and restaurants.
When the show’s sponsor, the Western Kansas Manufacturers Association, opted to relocate the event permanently to Dodge City, the final departure could have left a gaping hole in our community. It didn’t.
Undaunted by this loss, local organizers came together and believed Great Bend could host its own farm show. And, it could be held every year.
That was five years ago and the fifth-annual Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo starts this week at the Great Bend Expo Complex west of town. The show runs Wednesday through Friday and is free and open to the public.
The show gives farmers and agribusiness folks time to meet and catch up on the latest. There will also be talk about the lingering dry spell and the wind which sends clouds of dust rolling across the landscape.
However, the show is worthwhile, even for us city folk. Agribusiness is one of the backbones of this community and it impacts just about every aspect of our lives out here.
It is crucial for all of us to understand the issues facing farming because, in one way or another, we all face them. The weather and many other factors impact crop prices and crop prices impact food prices.
Whether it rains or not means more than green lawns.
Take the time to attend and walk the 80 acres packed with hundreds of booths filled with exhibitors from all over the country and around the world. The trip will be educational and worth the time.