One morning early this week, I was in my home office, working on the Farm Progress Show program. My son, Nathan, popped in.
"Wait. Are you in charge of the Farm Progress Show?" he asked.
I choked slightly.
"Um. No. Absolutely not. No. I'm just in charge of this." I held up the program.
Nathan nodded and didn't miss a beat. "Well. Do you get a Gator this year?"
I laughed out loud because really, this is the only question when you're a 10-year-old farm boy. Especially this boy, who's been attending Farm Progress Shows since he was in utero. My colleague Tom Bechman will tell the tale of a pregnant editor standing atop a pickup truck for better field demo photographs, but I don't know anything about that.
I will say, however, that this is the time of year when lots of people start asking about ways to get around the show. Can I bring a golf cart? Can I rent a golf cart? Can I bring a four-wheeler? Can you just drive me around?
(I'm kidding on that last one. Sort of.)
So with that in mind, here's a look at how you, the Farm Progress Show visitor, can get around the biggest farm show in the U.S.
Rent a golf cart: Yes, you can do this. Call before August 1 or they'll be gone. Contact Battery Specialists+Golf Cars, (866) 275-2742 or (217) 824-3943.
Bring your own golf cart: Yes, you can do this. You'll have to buy a $50 pass on site at the main gate. These are unlimited.
Bring your own ATV: No, you can't do this. Don't ask again. Even if it's hot and you hear a rumor that we're letting people bring them. It's not true.
Bring your own Ranger/Gator/Kubota/etc: No, you can't do this, either. Basically, you can't bring anything that idles.
Bring your own lawnmower: No. Just, no.
Bring your own mobility scooter: Yes, you can do this, if you need it. Like a golf cart, it doesn't idle so it's cool. Please don't be a teenager on one of these. We will frown at you and think bad thoughts about your character and potentially your upbringing.
And should you find yourself on a golf cart at the Farm Progress Show? Check out these pro tips:
1. Be courteous. It's a pedestrian show. Give visitors on foot the right of way. You will avoid dirty looks.
2. Take your key when you park, even though they're universal.
3. Rented carts all look alike. Show staff say every year a cart is "stolen," when in fact someone just hopped in the wrong one and buzzed off. Remember your number, or tie on a ribbon or hat so you recognize yours.
4. Do not, under any circumstance, drive through exhibitor lots or tents or booths. Really. Just don't.
5. When you park, don't block the entrance to an exhibit. See Pro Tip #1 about being courteous.
6. Give people a ride! (If you have room.) This is my favorite thing to do at the end of the day, should I find myself with keys to something and a little time. Because who doesn't like an unexpected lift to their car? No one. No one doesn't like an unexpected lift to their car.