Verona, Italy - The great thing about foreign farm shows is the joy of discovering how our cultures and farm production methods influence the tools we use to make food all around this globe. Here in Verona they're about to wrap up the country's biggest farm show, Fieragricola, and I've had more fun in three days than any Illinois farm boy deserves, despite a steady rain and chilly weather.
This is not a small farm show by any means, and it's increasingly more international in nature. One entire exhibit hall is dedicated to Bioenergy, which is being adapted quickly on Italian farms thanks to heavy government incentives.
There's plenty of equipment here in all sizes, including Ferrari and Lamborghini tractors – I'll share those photos and videos with you in tomorrow's blog.
Maybe I'm stereotyping when I say the Italians seem to love driving, and driving fast, no matter what they're driving. Fieragricola has a big open arena just outside the main exhibition, which I assumed would hold tractor pulls. Nope! Instead we were treated to a group of professional stunt drivers who put on a wild act featuring souped up Polaris four-wheelers and motorbikes.
You can see a few snippets I captured with my iphone below. The loud voice you hear is the man in the middle of the ring with a microphone. Although I don't speak Italian you get the feeling he's trying to whip the farm crowd into a frenzy.
Now, I've heard our own Farm Progress National Shows Manager, Matt Jungmann, has a real talent when it comes to driving four-wheelers. Maybe this is an idea we can adopt for the 2010 show.
Matt, are you ready to strap on your safety helmet?