2021 Show Updates
The National Farm Machinery Show is held annually at the Kentucky Exposition Center and is the largest indoor farm show in the country, featuring 1.2 million square feet of exhibit space. The show is a key player in the agriculture industry, featuring the most comprehensive display of equipment, services and technology.
With a possible vaccine on the horizon and safety measures improving daily, the 56th show and 53rd Championship Tractor Pull has been moved to March 31-April 3.
Attendees must pre-register for the show and select a day to attend in-advance. Pre-registration is not open at this time, but an announcement will be coming soon.
Exhibitors, please visit the exhibit page for details and information in advance of the show as well as direct correspondence from us via email. Our Expositions team will contact you.
Members of Media, please be on the lookout for an email update, but also visit the media tab of the website to apply for the show.
National Farm Machinery Show has enacted new procedures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Those measures include:
- Every attendee will be required to register for the show, submitting their name and contact information for contact tracing and attendance management.
- Capacity will be capped to allow for 36 sq. ft. of space per person at any given time.
- The trade show will be conducted in a hybrid model to allow for both in-person and virtual attendance.
- Facial coverings will be required for everyone in attendance.
- Increased hand sanitizer and handwashing stations will be available throughout the property. The complete list of changes and the related plan is available below.
The agricultural industry has continued to evolve. Rural family farms marked the landscape before big business boomed. Americans, who once relied on subsistence farming, shifted to large-scale, industrialized, vertically integrated "agribusiness." Yet through the boom and bust, the traditions and the new conventions, the National Farm Machinery Show has found a niche that satisfies the changing needs of developing farmers.
Two shows shaped the beginnings of the National Farm Machinery Show. In 1963, the University of Kentucky sponsored an electricity demonstration and exhibit for farmers in Lexington. That initial show opened the door, eventually expanding to include more types of power including agricultural power.
In addition, the most prominent and popular commercial exhibitors during the first forty years of the Kentucky State Fair were related to the farming industry. Power equipment valued at half a million dollars at the Farm Implement Show took up more than thirty acres of the fairgrounds. Due to its popularity and the growing agricultural interests in the region, many knew the time was ripe to expand.
Ultimately in February 1965, a few hundred farmers, salesmen and crop experts gathered in the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center to start a farm show. That year, commodity prices were high and farmers were experiencing record-high profits. The farm show then added an entertainment element four years after its inception with the Championship Tractor Pull. In 1969, the first Championship Tractor Pull was the first major indoor event in Freedom Hall and attracted 66 tractors in three classes. Now the nation’s oldest tractor pull continues to enjoy popularity with people whose heroes are farmers and whose obsessions revolve around machinery and horsepower.
Louisville’s location in the agriculturally-rich Midwest and Southern corridor was accessible and attractive to farm equipment manufacturers and dealers from around the nation. The exhibitors found an organized show in a central location where they could display their agriculture products, services, and equipment to an interested audience of professional and recreational farmers. The once-tiny farm show is now the nation’s largest indoor ag trade show and plans to host over 300,000 attendees and exhibitors.
Salespeople and industry experts spread over 27 acres of interconnected indoor exhibit space educating farmers and looking for potential buyers. The show, now in its fifth decade, showcases innovative technology, new product launches, and alternative energy, among others. In addition to gaining hands-on access to the newest and most innovative products on the market, attendees will also benefit from the selection of free seminars led by some of the industry’s top experts.
Industry officials and manufacturers seem to universally agree that, while large equipment sales remain strong, significant opportunities exist with the smaller-acreage farming machines. And that bodes well for the staying power of the National Farm Machinery Show. With more than 900 booths, the show floor provides farming equipment, technology and gear for every attendee.
Because the show is early in the farming season, it tends to help forecast the season to come. A feat foreshadowed by then-Kentucky Governor Edward Breathitt, who remarked at the opening address of the second annual National Farm Machinery Show that the future of the show has "untold educational benefits" and "a myriad of other possibilities [for the] agricultural industry."
Plan Your Visit
Dates: Wednesday, March 31 through Saturday, April 3, 2020
Hours: 9:00a.m. - 6:00p.m. daily (EST)
Location: Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, KY 40209
Prices: Parking is $10 for cars and $20 for buses.
Seminars: Seminars are free for all attendees.