The inaugural Great Bend Farm & Ranch Expo had an attendance of 22,000, Manager Darren Dale said Saturday. The show ran last Wednesday through Friday at the Expo Complex west of Great Bend.
Dale said the success of the new show cemented its status as an annual event. “It was one of the largest farm and ranch trade shows in the U.S.,” he said, noting more than 700 vendors had exhibits on the 80-acre site.
Dale praised the exhibitors, staff and volunteers. “It went very, very well,” he said. “We had unbelievable local support.” The show pulled in a crowd from a large area with its exhibits and free programs. There was even a delegation from China, in Kansas with an investment bankers group, that looked at the machinery on display.
Dignitaries who attended the Great Bend Show included Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman and Congressman Tim Huelskamp.
Dale lives in Bird City and is the owner and manager of the Great Bend Farm & Ranch Show, as well as similar shows in McCook, Neb., and Wichita Falls, Texas.