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Archive for Thursday, January 7, 1999

FARM SHOW REAPS LOT OF INTEREST

January 7, 1999

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— Whether it's climbing into the seat of a 220-horsepower tractor or tinkering with air pump valves, people interested in farming have plenty to see at this year's Topeka Farm Show.

"We came out for him," said Colette Glassman, pointing to her 3-year-old son, Wyatt. "He just loves the tractors."

Several hundred people on Wednesday came to see dozens of booths and displays at the fair, which runs through 4 p.m. today at the Kansas Expocentre.

"This is wonderful for us," said Lawrence native Harry Craig, a member of the Kansas Board of Regents and president of Topeka-based Martin Tractor, which sells Caterpillar agricultural equipment.

"It allows us to hear from our customers about what we're doing right, and in some cases, where we're missing the mark," he said.

Craig said that while not much heavy equipment is sold at the fair itself, public exposure to new models results in sales down the road. "We need that interaction with our customers," he said.

The booths and displays at the fair range from information on storage sheds, to seeds and planting, to artwork and equipment.

Kathryn Towne, first vice president of Kansas Agri-Women, a farming education and lobbying group, said she spent the day handing out information to passers-by.

"I don't know that a lot of farmers are geared to be political," she said. "We've got be more assertive with exports and other things."

Les Wenger, who lives north of Topeka, brought his grandchildren, Luke, 9, and Sarah, 7, to the show. "I like the big tractors and stuff," Luke said.

"We've seen a lot of friends and people we know in the livestock industry and equipment industry," Glassman said. "So, it's kind of a place to socialize, too."

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is mdekker@ljworld.com.

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