As the dust settles on the 2022 Farm Progress Show, memories flood people’s minds of years past and those who helped get the show where it is today. Mike Samuelson would be one of the names heard from many who have been involved with the show for several years.
Samuelson served as the manager of the 1992, 1993 and 1994 Farm Progress Shows, after serving several years as the assistant manager. The Ogden, Iowa, native also farmed and sold farm equipment, but died suddenly in June 2008, leaving behind a wife and two sons.
“He loved the Farm Progress Show,” says Samuelson's widow, Leanne. “I would attend also, with the crop insurance company I worked for. He was so excited when it moved to Boone [Iowa] because it would be so close to us.”
And now the next generation is gaining a love for the show. Sons Jacob and Matthew helped Mark Wint run electrical lines for the 2022 show near Boone. Wint, who owns Mark’s Electric, based in Columbus, Ind., has been doing electrical work at the Farm Progress Shows for 41 years.
“It’s neat that his kids are still willing to help with the show,” Wint says. “They are great help.”
Both boys helped with show preparations in the weeks leading up to the event. Jacob, a sophomore at Iowa State University studying agricultural business, says being able to help at the Farm Progress Show gives him a connection to his dad.
“I enjoy being able to do some of the things my dad did. Even though I was young, I remember coming to the Farm Progress Show,” Jacob says. “This has been a great experience.”
Younger brother Matthew, who is a junior at Ogden High School, also helped at before and during this year’s show to help Wint however was needed. “It’s neat to be able to help at the Farm Progress Show. It gives me a better idea of how big this show really is.”
Everyone is family
Samuelson’s family was very important to him, and those who worked with him said that was the way he was with his friends, too. “Mike was such a great guy. He treated everyone like family,” says Jacqi Sheehan Fisher, ad operations specialist with Farm Progress who worked with Samuelson and served as show secretary at the 1992 show. “From a vendor’s standpoint, they could see how hardworking he was and could ask him anything. He made the show grounds feel like home.”
Matt Jungmann joined the Farm Progress team in 1995, the year after Samuelson managed his last show, and now serves as Farm Progress national events director, “Mike was loved by everyone who knew him —Farm Progress staff, exhibitors and vendors. A bit of a legend to me as a young entrant into the show game,” Jungmann says.
When the show moved to the permanent Iowa location in Boone, Samuelson was excited to have it so close to his farm, which was just down the road. Jungmann says he was a fantastic resource to help find everything needed for the show and lined him up with several great contacts. “Everything from dust control, local staffing, local volunteer groups, who to talk to at which dealership, and which restaurants to eat at. He could help with just about everything we needed,” Jungmann says.
The family still lives at the farm near Ogden, which has been used as a staging area for Case IH at previous Boone shows. They enjoy being so close to the Iowa location, and visiting the show to help and see old friends.
“Having Mike’s sons working on the grounds at the Farm Progress Show this year was just about as cool as anything I can think of, especially with so many of his friends around,” Jungmann says.