From farm machinery to western merchandise, thousands of people attended the 49th Annual Farm Expo in Macomb over the weekend.
Organizers said this event doesn’t only give local businesses exposure, it also promotes the agriculture industry as a future career choice.
The expo was put on by the Agriculture Mechanization Club and members said the event draws thousands of people each day.
“It’s actually pretty cool, this is my first year,” Attendee Destini Bollinger said. “There’s a lot of different stuff. It’s awesome.”
The expo gives the public a chance to check out and support local businesses.
“My favorite things are the Western stores, the Diamond D’s and I personally love the cow hide stuff, so I came to look around with that,” Bollinger said.
Vice President of Operations for the Expo, Leah Hembrough said this is the biggest student-ran farm expo in the nation.
“We just want to continue to promote agriculture,” Hembrough said. “I would say that’s a strong point and we really want it to be a family atmosphere too. We want everyone involved, come out, enjoy themselves and learn about agriculture.”
For some local entrepreneurs, the farm expo allows them to gain extra exposure to their local community.
“I’ve never set up or done anything like this, so it has really expanded,” WIU Junior McKaela Bradley said. “I’ve had several people just really interested.”
Bradley said this allows her to get a jump start on her business.
“I’m out of Missouri, so I’ve just done local in my hometown, so this allows me to spread to Illinois and all over Illinois,” Bradley said.
The support is something that brings Bollinger and her family to the expo.
“That is awesome because our local stores do need support,” Bollinger said.
This year marks the 55th year for the Agriculture Mechanization club. They plan to continue this event next year.