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Ag Secretary Schafer special guest at Big Iron

The Midwest's largest agricultural event is returning to the region with the 28th Annual Big Iron 2008 Farm Show and Exposition set to run Sept. 9, 10 and 11, at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo. Showtime will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

The event is a function of the Red River Valley Fair association that started in 1980 in Casselton, moved to The Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo in 1981, and has been continuing there successfully ever since.

In 2007 Big Iron connected a recordbreaking 800 agricultural exhibitors representing more than 600 companies with 70,000 attendees.

This year's event will welcome a very special guest, with Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer returning to his home turf to participate in an agricultural symposium opening day Tuesday, Sept. 9.

Schafer will be featured in the new Red River Farm Network Issues and Events Center, located at the heart of the Big Iron grounds in West Fargo. The former North Dakota governor and current USDA leader will discuss agricultural issues from 10 a.m. to noon.

Big Iron Show Manager Bryan Schulz said he is "very excited about having Ag. Secretary Schafer as a guest to speak about agricultural issues. We are hoping that a lot of people will come on out to ask questions and hear what he has to say."

In addition to Schafer's appearance, the new Issues and Events Center will feature additional seminars on vital agricultural issues.

The Red River Farm Network Issues and Events Center is sponsored, in part, by Ag Country Farm Credit Services, Bayer CropScience, Pioneer Hi-Bred, the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, North Dakota Farm Bureau and Proseed.

Throughout the three-day event, exhibits will be featured both indoors and outdoors, with on-ground and field demonstrations conducted each day, weather permitting, with the latter located on the farm ground south of the show grounds.

Last year Big Iron added something new, with the involvement of the North Dakota Trade Office who again this year will have a location set up and staffed in the Pavilion right next door to the agricultural building, for the purpose of welcoming foreign visitors. More than 100 global visitors attended last year and a strong presence is expected again this year from regions of the world with high demands for agricultural equipment.

In addition to the vast number of exhibits and the trade office representation, Big Iron will also feature a varied program for the ladies, with a Craft Show set all three days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Craft Show Building.

A Ladies Brunch is also scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Great Hall of the Fargo Holiday Inn. KFGO radio personality Sandi Buttweiler will serve as master of ceremonies for the style show, and live music will be provided by the Dixie Cups. Tickets cost $15 and will be available at the door. Those planning to attend are encouraged to arrive early, since seating is limited. Doors open at 9 a.m.

There is no admission charge to Big Iron activities at the Fairgrounds and there will be plenty of free parking each day. People movers will also be available to transport people around the exhibit grounds.

Big Iron 2008 Committee members are: Terry Goerger, chairman, Gale Skjoiten, Mike St. Onge, Mike Krueger, Alfons Allmaras, John McGowan, and Mike Larson.

For more information about Big Iron, visit the brand new Web site at, or call the Fairground's office at 701-282-200 or 800-456-6408.