History of the Sioux Empire Farm Show


Each year in January, area agricultural producers and the members of the Sioux Falls area business community gather to participate in a variety of events that highlight the importance of agriculture in the region. As a $17 billion industry in South Dakota, agriculture definitely impacts the Sioux Falls area economy. More than 30,000 people attend the Sioux Empire Farm Show each year, with an estimated economic impact of $2.9 million.

Since 1954, the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has been sponsoring one of the best farm shows in the upper Midwest.

Approximately 18,000 people attended the five-day show in 1954, and the event continued to grow each year.

The initial farm show goals were as follows:

•  To develop a closer and more friendly and cooperative working relationship between the city of Sioux Falls and the agricultural area and agricultural interests of the Sioux Empire.
•  To improve the quality of livestock and the efficiency of the livestock producer within the Sioux Empire area.
•  To provide to farmers and stockmen educational programs and agricultural exhibits revealing new and improved technology for accomplishing the highest degree of farming and feedlot production efficiency.
•  To achieve, through a close rural-urban working relationship, an upgraded agricultural economy, to a degree that will reflect favorably upon individual, business, industry and community prosperity.

The Sioux Empire Farm Show is one of several ag-related events hosted in Sioux Falls each year. It is hailed as one of the largest feeder steer shows in the nation. Seven breeds of cattle compete for the $12,000 Supreme Row purse, the best regional market livestock shows and sales and plenty of commercial exhibits.

Since 1998, the Chamber has partnered with Midwest Shows, Inc., for the commercial exhibitor farm show events. Headquartered in Austin, Minn., Midwest Shows sells commercial exhibit space for the show. The commercial exhibit portion of the two shows is called the “Sioux Falls Farm Show,” with both shows being featured as “Sioux Falls Salute to Agriculture.” The Sioux Falls Farm Show exhibits are a three-day show.

In addition to the numerous purebred and market shows that take place during the week, the Chamber also sponsors several special events:

Supreme Row: The $12,000 Supreme Row competition is sponsored by the Tri-State Neighbor (gold), Wells Fargo Bank South Dakota, N.A. (silver), and Campbell Supply Co. (bronze). This competition is for purebred cattle. The purse is split between the buyer and the consignor of the animal that places at the top in this highly competitive best of all breeds award of both the bulls and heifers.

Mayor’s Round-Up and Sale of Champions: Since 1998, Sioux Falls’ very own Mayor has participated in the Sale of Champions. For several decades now, the Sioux Falls business community has supported area producers by bidding on the best livestock from the Farm Show and paying a premium to the producers. The top market steers, market swine, market lambs and market goats are featured in this fun event.

The success of the Farm Show is directly related to the efforts of several area businesses, individuals and producers who devote their time and talents. The Sioux Empire Farm Show recognizes the many ways agriculture has impacted the economy, local citizens and the entire community.

For more information about the Sioux Empire Farm Show, contact Cindy Christensen, Agri-Business Division Manager of the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, at (605) 373-2016.

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