With only a few hours left before the
doors close for the final time on Agritechnica 2011, more than a few
people were trying to squeeze in a final visit. The exhibition halls
were busy, to say the least. Because it’s Saturday, there were
parents and kids almost everywhere.
With a journalist’s press pass, though,
I could avoid the crowds by coming in early and staying late each day
in order to get unobstructed photographs of the machines on display.
And that pass also allows access to the press centre, which offers
amenities like workspace and internet access so we can do our jobs
and get information out to you—no matter where you are.
The overall view of just one of the 24 display halls filled with new equipment and emerging technologies
Spending time in the press centre meant
I was able to meet other writers from farm publications all across
Europe. As one of only three Canadian journalists at the show (at
least only three that I know of), a lot of people were eager to ask
about our country and its agriculture industry. We spent a lot of
time talking about the differences and similarities among farms and
farming practices in various regions of the world.
To a large extent, the kind of
information exchange we shared in the press room was also what the
organizers of Agritechnica were trying to facilitate between
equipment manufacturers and show visitors. They want this event to be
the global meeting place for the exchange of information and
ideas for everyone’s benefit, not just a showplace for new machines.
And those two purposes seem to mesh very nicely here.
In fact, it’s impossible not to find
yourself learning about how farming is done elsewhere simply by
looking at the kinds of equipment on display and talking with the
exhibitors about how and why farmers use them in various countries.
Then, of coure, there are the exhibitors showing products that push
the limits of current technology and give a glimpse of what the
future holds. Information exchange seems to be happening here whether
its planned or not.
I spoke to a few of the prairie
manufacturers who are showing their equipment at the Canadian
pavilions, and it’s clear they’re learning too. Getting feedback on
their machinery from foreign farmers helps them assess not only
demand for it in potential new markets, but it gives them a chance to
assess other technologies, which may or may not work on implements
intended for sale in Canada. That means many Canadian farmers could
benefit from the dialogue at this show, even if they did come to it.
As Agritechnica has matured over the
past decade, that global meeting place concept has solidified. “We
could really sense an international feel to this year’s
Agritechnica,” said Dr. Reinhard Grandke, CEO of DLG, the show’s
organizer, at the closing press conference. “One of our missions is
to become a platform for networking.”
I’d have to say mission accomplished.
This wraps up my second visit to an
Agritechnica show—I was also here for the last one in 2009. Be sure
to keep your eye on future issues of Grainews and Country Guide for
detailed articles on this year’s event.
If you enjoy looking at the latest and
best in farm machinery and expanding your knowledge about the
industry you earn your livelihood in, making the trans-Atlantic trip
to see a future show could really be worth the effort. Agritechnica
runs every second year, so the next one will take place in November,
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