2021 Four State Farm Shows kicks off at Plaster Center this weekend

Jordan Meier
Morning Sun
Potential buyer talks to Norwood Sales Inc. salesmen about the 13-foot tall Kwik Till at the 2017 Four State Farm Show.

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Come one, come all— the Four State Farm Show has come to town.  

After canceling the event last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the show is set to be in full swing, Friday through Sunday of this week.  

According to a press release from those running the Farm Show, vendor participation is the largest in the show’s history, with more than 750 indoor and outdoor booths already sold.  

“With many shows being canceled in the past year, exhibitors are eager to attend shows and we believe spectators feel the same way,” Lance Markley, show coordinator and representative of the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, the new promoter for the long-running event, said in the release. “Interest in the show has been phenomenal.” 

Before the pandemic, according to a press release from Pittsburg State University, the show attracted 20,000 spectators and had more than $1 million in economic impact on the area annually, and those involved hope to stay on that trajectory this year.  

This year, the 46th annual rendition of the event is also the first to be housed in PSU’s Plaster Center and its surrounding area. The university made a multi-year deal with the Farm show in 2020 that relocated the show from south of town to its heart on PSU’s campus.  

In the press release from PSU, Chief Strategy Officer Shawn Naccarato described the partnership between the two entities as “another example of innovative partnerships being of direct benefit to the community.”   

The collaboration on the Four State Farm Show "is just a great example of the sort of things we anticipated would be made possible by the building of the Plaster Center and the investment that the city, as well as the private donors, made to build that facility,” Naccarato said in the release. 

For the first time in 36 years, those in attendance will have the option to visit vendors and booths indoors and outdoors, rather than just outdoors.  

According to the Four State Farm Show release, the use of the Plaster Center will allow for more “rural living” booths to be set up, where non-agricultural companies will have the opportunity to reach spectators.  

In addition, lawnmower test driving – a popular feature previously – is returning this year, according to Markley, giving spectators “the opportunity to test drive a variety of zero-turn lawnmowers in an area just adjacent to the show.”  

The large event expands beyond the Plaster Center and will be set up in parking lots and grounds around Homer Street, near the eastern edge of campus.  

Due to the expected large crowds, public parking will be available on numerous PSU parking lots throughout the campus and shuttles will be continuously running to and from the show area. Additionally, golf carts may be rented from the show supplier by calling 417-883-9393. 

Set up for the event has already begun, and Pittsburg citizens are advised to be aware of road closures and increased traffic near the PSU campus.  

Jordan Meier is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. She can be reached at jmeier@morningsun.net.