Forest City tobacco display

Dan Ruprecht talked with visitors to the tobacco barn during the Forest City Threshers Show in August. Ruprecht’s family grew tobacco on their rural Eden Valley farm from 1963 to 1985. The tobacco display drew considerable interest with the Minnesota Association of Antique Power Shows members who met in Forest City Oct. 9.

The Forest City Threshers and the Atwater Threshers joined forces to co-host the fall meeting of the Minnesota Association of Antique Power Shows Oct. 9 at the Forest City Threshing Association show grounds.

The two local threshing associations teamed up to provide a meeting place, food and refreshments for the statewide association. MAAPS is an organization to help all antique power shows work together to define best practices for these events. MAAPS meets twice a year to share ideas, concerns and suggestions about antique power and threshing shows as to how they can do a better job in presenting their shows and to function in a more professional manner.

President of the MAAPS, Jody Hicks, presided over the business meeting which was attended by members of numerous threshing shows from across the state. Reports were given by attendees as to attendance levels of their respective shows as well as what a number of them are doing and are planning to do this coming year. All reported attendance numbers substantially above last year, primarily due to the impact of COVID-19.

There was also discussion as to how the various threshing shows were dealing with their respective food stands and food vendors. Additional discussion focused on ideas for more interactive exhibits and displays and how to get additional membership involvement throughout the year. Considerable time was also used in discussion on how to get younger folks as well as 4-H and FFA clubs more involved in show activities.

After the meeting adjourned, the visitors took the opportunity to tour the Forest City Threshing Show Grounds to observe some of their new and work in progress projects. The steam driven electrical power generators, which were moved to Forest City from the City of Benson a number of years ago, drew considerable interest. The tobacco display, being the only tobacco growing display in the Upper Midwest, also generated significant interest. Visitors were impressed at the amount of new construction and new displays added in recent years.

Hicks commended Ron Hennes, president of the Atwater Threshers, and Dave Jutz, president of the Forest City Threshers, for their efforts in hosting the event for the Minnesota Association of Antique Power Show. This is the first time that MAAPS has met at Forest City.