Great Bend Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Megan Barfield announced Tuesday that the Chamber won’t organize volunteers for the next Great Bend Farm, Ranch and Hemp Expo. However, she said the trade show is still scheduled to take place next April.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Barfield noted that “for the past 10 years, Star Expos, owners of Great Bend Farm, Ranch and Hemp Expo, and the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce have partnered contractually to continue bringing a successful farm show to the Great Bend area. As with any festival, exposition, or event, there always comes a time to review existing partnerships and make necessary changes for the betterment of every party.
“Effective with the 2022 farm show, the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce will no longer be organizing the hundreds of volunteers as done historically. This is due to many reasons all playing a factor in this decision: evolution of farm shows across the country, busy lives of our volunteers, change in chamber structure and capacity, etc.
“The show won’t be utilizing volunteers, but the goal remains the same: to provide a quality and successful farm show for the ag community across the state and beyond, thus benefiting our local economy each year.”
Barfield thanked Chamber members for their years of service to show and to Jan Westfall in particular for her years of service as committee chair.
“Star Expos is committed to retaining their Chamber membership and plans to continue bringing the show to Great Bend,” Barfield concluded. “In turn, the Chamber will remain 100% committed to promoting the show and inviting our members to join as a vendor or visitor. This is a quality-of-life event that attracts hundreds and thousands annually who spend dollars in Great Bend and we are in favor of that continuing.”
Tana Dale with Star Expos said the show will take place next spring with the dates to be announced in the next couple weeks. At the request of vendors, one of the show’s three days will be on a Saturday.
Dale also said there may be volunteer opportunities, but the details are yet to be determined.
Barfield said her staff can now spend more time promoting the expo.