“The nation’s largest outdoor farm show is held annually and the location alternates between its two permanent sites near Decatur, Ill. and Boone, Iowa (held in Iowa in even-numbered years). This show is recognized the world over as the first large-scale agricultural event and it continues to lead the industry in scale and scope for showcasing the best and latest in agriculture.

The event hosts exhibits by the world’s largest and regionally significant ag manufacturers and service providers. Live field demonstrations, tech demonstrations and seminars are held during each show.”

FCFI exhibit on the south end of the show grounds

The Fellowship of Christian Farmers, International pitched its tent on the south edge of the fairgrounds, a large yellow and white tent with its traditional national flags flying in the breeze.  The weather was nearly perfect at the show for this time of year, usually hot and humid.  Temps were mostly upper 70s to low 80s.  It is an honor and a blessing to be invited to the largest outdoor farm show in the nation year after year.  The show was August 27-29, still a month before harvest.  Farmers are uncertain of this year’s crop outputs, since early rains delayed planting and recent dry weather could slow yields.

But the Fellowship of Christian Farmers are there to encourage farmers, giving out free walking sticks with the 5 colored beads that tell the greatest story, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This is also our biggest farm show of the year, and a lot of planning goes into the show.  Executive Director Dennis Schlagel personally oversees the FCFI exhibit, and attends all three show days.  This is one of the closest shows to our home office in Lexington, Illinois.  Dennis and a small crew of volunteers set up the displays, lay the wood chips, prepare the sticks, and pray for those who visit the tent and hear the Gospel presentation.

Inside the tent, visitors hear the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, using the Wordless Walking Stick

It is always amazing to see what happens inside this tent, where the God of the Universe shows up and meets people’s most important needs, salvation of the soul. The Holy Spirit is truly working for these people before they come in and hear the Gospel message. The attentiveness is really remarkable, and miraculous.

Not all feel drawn into the FCFI tent, but Dale Shurtz has it covered out front. Dale takes care to give solo visitors the same message as those in the tent.

Karen Hembrough sharing the Gospel with some young show attendees

Overall, it was a successful show, with a couple thousand sticks given away and many souls saved.

Next year’s Farm Progress Show

Farm Progress Show 2020

334 days left
The Nation’s Largest Outdoor Farm Show
Date: 9/1/2020 – 9/3/2020
Venue: Central Iowa Expo, Boone IA, United States