Hold on to your hat is the order of the morning at the very, very windy 3i Show in Great Bend.
Vendors with outdoor spaces were prepared for 40-mph wind gusts – after all, this is Kansas in the springtime. Blowable items were quickly tucked under crescent wrenches and boxes and visitors for the most part were kind enough to pick up, look and put the anchors back down.
Cars were pouring into the parking lots by the 9 a.m. opening of the show and foot traffic has been steady if a bit slower than vendors would like.
“You can’t blame the guys who can be out there planting for doing their farm work instead of being at the show,” said Arden Vernon from Turon, who is selling his own invention, the EZ-Latch, at the show.
Vernon said he invented the latch, which allows the user to hook or unhook a gooseneck trailer without crawling into the bed of the pickup for his own use and it was so popular with his neighbors that he started making it and taking it to shows.
For Blake Tregellas from Perryton, Texas, the show provides a chance to check out alternative irrigation systems. He was chatting with Jan Widscheffel at Netafim about the potential for drip irrigation.
Tregellas said he now uses center pivots but he’s thinking about alternatives.
“I’m talking,” he said.
Inside the three big Expo buildings, there’s shelter from the wind and plenty of chances to see neat new products or revisit old ones.
There are also booths for the commodity groups and service organizations, including the latest radar from the National Weather Service, where chief meteorologist Dick Elder now says the greatest chance for severe weather is in northern Kansas today and in south-central Kansas Sunday and Monday.