LAUREN OLSEN, The News-Sentinel
---- — FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — This week, Memorial Coliseum will host the fifth-largest indoor farm show in the country, presenting 951 vendor booths for an expected 33,000 visitors at the 25th annual Fort Wayne Farm Show, produced by Tradexpos.
Debbie Golberg, Tradexpos office manager, said that the show has grown a lot over the past 25 years.
"This is the newest technology the agriculture industry has to offer; there's always something new," Golberg told The News-Sentinel (http://bit.ly/19s64cm ). "The show has grown in leaps and bounds in what they can do every year."
While the Fort Wayne Farm Show began with just 167 booths in 1989, the coliseum is now completely filled with vendors each year.
"We're completely sold out. We have over 150 vendors on the waiting list this year," Golberg said.
This Tradexpos show, running through Thursday, features up-and-coming farming technology, antique tractors, a variety of farm machinery and equipment, and an auction for the Future Farmers of American Scholarship Foundation. In addition, educational seminars will be presented daily by the Northeastern Indiana Soil and Water Conservation District and Purdue Cooperative Extension Services. Parkview Health Systems will be offering free CPR classes as well.
"Our niche is the support of Tradexpos and Purdue. We have educational seminars that are second to none," said Fred Cline, the show's director. Cline has been with the company for 20 of its 25 years.
"Our show has expanded to become one of the top five shows in the nation," he said.
As the past 25 years have shown exponential growth in both the number of vendor booths and show attendees, Cline hopes to see continued expansion of the show in its next 25 years.
"If there is an expansion of this building in the future, we can continue what we've shown in the past and bring in new exhibitors to keep the show fresh," Cline said.
"Expansion would allow for about another 100 vendor booth spaces" in future shows, Golberg said.
Pat Kinsey, who has worked in advertising for all 25 years of the Fort Wayne Farm Show, hopes the show can continue its tradition of satisfying vendors into its next 25 years.
"We have 50 vendors that have been with us all 25 years," Kinsey said. "We have exhibitors tell us that this makes their year for them."
The 25th annual Fort Wayne Farm Show will be held in the Coliseum's Expo center through 4 p.m. Thursday. While there is a parking fee at the Coliseum, admission to the show is free.
Information from: The News-Sentinel, http://www.news-sentinel.com/ns
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