For the first time in its 45-year history, the Four State Farm Show, scheduled to be held July 24, 25 and 26 at its new location on the Pittsburg State University campus, is canceled.
“Given the surge in COVID-19 cases in the region, we are unfortunately canceling the Farm Show this year,” said Lance Markley, Farm Talk publisher and Four State Farm Show coordinator. “While we are very disappointed, we are simply not comfortable with potential exposure to our exhibitors, attendees and show staff.”
2020 is the first year the Farm Show was to be on campus, with vendors scheduled to be both outdoors and indoors at the Robert W. Plaster Center. With over 800 booths sold and the addition of climate controlled booths including rural living displays, the show was slated to be the largest show in its four-decade history.
The show originally was scheduled for May 29-31 but as the pandemic evolved, it was moved to July.
“We hoped this would not happen, but it’s the right decision,” said Shawn Naccarato, PSU chief strategy officer. “It aligns with the other health and safety measures we’re taking on our campus, and we are thankful to have a partner like Farm Talk that puts public health first.
“We really look forward to welcoming this event to our campus when it’s safe to do so,” he added.
Annually, the show brings 20,000 visitors in three days and has more than $1 million in economic impact.
“This is a great disappointment, but we fully support the decision,” said Devin Gorman, director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Public health is the top priority.”
The decision was made after consulting with public health officials and evaluating the statewide and regional impact COVID-19 is having on communities.
“The reality is that people, even our vendors, come from all over the region and the country for this event,” said Markley. “We feel the responsible thing to do from a show management standpoint is to cancel and avoid stressing public safety and health services.”
Pittsburg State University and Farm Talk have a multi-year agreement to host the Farm Show on the PSU campus.
“We were very much looking forward to producing the show at what we believe will be the best venue in the history of the Four State Farm Show,” Markley said. “Those aspirations will now be realized in 2021.”