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Dakotafest returns to Mitchell for 25th annual festival after 2020 cancellation

Event organizers expect a large turnout this year, considering last year's show was cancelled and people are "itching" to get out of the house.

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Signage for Dakotafest is pictured during the 2019 farm show in Mitchell. (Republic file photo)
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Dakotafest is returning to Mitchell for its 25th annual festival after the pandemic forced the event to take a gap year in 2020.

This year’s event, scheduled for Aug. 17-19 on the campus of Mitchell Technical College, will feature over 400 registered exhibitors to help network farmers and families with top agribusiness professionals, while also celebrating the rural, family oriented lifestyle of many of the festival’s attendees.

“For us, (holding this year’s festival) means being able to be together and being able to provide the resources farmers need,” said Niki Jones, marketing manager with IDEAg. “It means being able to provide the connections and resources to ag producers that they need.”

The 25th edition of Dakotafest will feature an anniversary celebration, and three days of various product demonstrations and vendor sales including seed plot and technical product demonstrations, livestock-focused exhibits, live chute demonstrations and much more.

“We’ve got a great list of exhibitors and products that are going to be at the show,” Jones said. “We have a full schedule of events, too.”

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Tuesday will see events beginning between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., including seminars explaining the newest updates in federal tax laws and a congressional update from Rep. Dusty Johnson and Sens. John Thune and Mike Rounds.

Wednesday’s schedule includes events starting between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., with panels discussing smart agriculture updates from Washington, D.C., a look at the future of hemp farming in South Dakota veterinarian roundtable discussions and the Dakotafest Fun Auction.

Thursday’s events, beginning between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., include a panel and highlight of women working in agriculture and a seminar on how to make sustainable farming work for farmers.

The Woman Farmer of the Year Award will be presented at Thursday’s Women in Ag event, recognizing one woman who selflessly gives her time to growing crops and raising livestock for the world. The winner will be one of five pre-selected finalists, who were previously nominated.

While not attending a seminar, visitors can check out some of the festival’s many featured products, including combine attachments, field sprayers or grain carts, and even can access exclusive deals on warranties through various exhibitors and vendors.

Jones said the Dakotafest website has all the information Dakotafest attendees need to know about the seminars, exhibitors and the event as a whole.

Event organizers are expecting this year to be more packed than years prior, noting the role last year’s cancellation played.

“We expect that there will be a large crowd at Dakotafest this year,” Jones said. “People have been itching to get out this year, so we’re looking for a good number of people to come out.”

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The grounds open at 9 a.m. each day, and will close at 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time at a discounted rate of $7, or for $10 at the gate. Kids 17 and under are free.

Related Topics: AGRICULTUREFARMING
Dunteman covers general and breaking news as well as crime in the Mitchell Republic's 17-county coverage area. He grew up in Harrisburg, and has lived in South Dakota for over 20 years. He joined the Mitchell Republic in June 2021 after earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He can be reached at HDunteman@MitchellRepublic.com, or on Twitter @HRDunt.
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