Hot Joins Windy For Afternoon At 3i Show

Jackets and sweatshirts come off as sunshine warms up the show; specators keep eye on sky, talk weather

As the temperature pushes into the 80s at the 3i Show in Great Bend, the forecasters are saying the severe weather will most likely develop to the north of us.

Nevertheless, spectators are keeping an eye on the pileups of fluffy white clouds and there's plenty of conversation about the weather.

"Where is the shelter on the grounds, just in case?" one visitor asked a vendor.

"National Guard Armory, ma'am," the vendor replied. "And we've been in it before at this show."

For Gene Vander Giesen from northwest Iowa, it was the first show he's worked for Rock Valley Tractor Parts since he sold the company a few months ago to his former manager Scott Schelling. He had owned the company for 42 years.

"I've worked it before as the owner, now I'm just working it," he said.

Rock Valley Tractor Parts has been in business since 1938, making new parts for old tractors.

"Whatever somebody needs we can make for them," he said.

Gilbert Wenz of Holyrood was showing his company's product line of skylights and said business has been brisk, while Todd Copling drew a crowd at the Little Giant ladder booth where he was demonstrating a new generation of the product called the "Revolution."

Jon Casner, an Ohio farmhand turned inventor, was showing off his "Inflation Solutions," a tire-mounted system that enables a producer to check the air pressure in tractor tires by just walking past and glancing at the guages.

He said the idea came to him while he was crawling around in the dirt inflating tires.

"I'm hoping for enough sales to pay my expenses for the show," he said. "I know its a game of getting your name out that and being recognized."

The 3i Show continues Friday in Great Bend, where vendors are hoping that a predicted chance of overnight rain comes to pass, bringing both needed moisture to wheat and newly planted fall crops and more visitors to the show.

BLOWIN' IN THE WIND: Show goers walk past heavy machinery at the 3i Show in Great Bend on Thursday while flags flap in the stiff breeze. Sustained winds over 20 mph with gusts to 45 mph persisted all day Thursday in advance of a cold front.
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