University News

Ag Mech Show at WIU Feb. 7-8

January 14, 2004

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MACOMB, IL -- Tractors and crafts and farm toys, oh my!

The 34th Annual Agriculture Mechanization Show at Western Illinois University, the largest student-run farm show in the United States, will be held Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 7-8 in Western Hall on the WIU campus.

The two-day event, organized and conducted by WIU Agriculture Mechanization Club members and agriculture students, will feature emerging ag technology, farm tractors and machinery, livestock equipment and supplies, ag sales and service, conservation methods, crop supplies, ag structures, guest speakers and much more. More than 225 exhibitors will participate.

Charles Hartke, director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, will speak at the opening ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 7. Hartke was appointed director in April 2003 by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. A lifelong farmer, Hartke served in the Illinois House since 1985 and held a seat on the House Agriculture Committee. Hartke grew up on a farm in Teutopolis in southern Illinois. After a tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, he and his wife, Kathy, bought a farm a mile from the one on which he was raised. His son, Chris, now manages the 800-acre operation. Before his election to the Illinois House, Hartke was involved in Effingham County government and served on the county board from 1971 to 1974.

In addition to the expo and Hartke's appearance, a farm toy and craft show will be held in the upper level of Western Hall. Agriculture professor Tom Green and his urban forestry students will hold tree climbing demonstrations both days.

The Ag Mech Show will take place 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7 and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8 Admission and parking are free.

For more information, contact the WIU agriculture department at 309/298-1080, or the Ag Mech Club office at 309/298-1231.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger (
Office of University Communications & Marketing