WEST FARGO — Red River Valley Fair officials announced Big Iron, the annual agriculture show, will continue as planned for September despite concerns about large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Red River Valley Fair Association and Big Iron Farm Show Committee announced Wednesday, July 15, that the 40th anniversary Big Iron Farm Show will be held September 15-17 at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo.

"We have been working with the Cass County Public Health Department and the North Dakota Department of Health to ensure that the health and safety of everyone involved in the Big Iron Farm Show is of the highest priority," Red River Valley Fair General Manager Cody Cashman said. "We have guidelines in place to have the Farm Show be the safest it can be given our current state with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting us."

Cashman said the show will follow North Dakota Smart Restart guidelines. Exhibitors will be spaced out to create more room throughout the Farm Show and 350 acres of the fairgrounds will be used for the show.

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"We want people to use common sense when attending the Big Iron Farm Show," Cashman said. "If you don’t feel well, please do not attend."

Cashman did not say if masks will be required.

"We are having the 2020 Big Iron Farm Show because it is essential to North Dakota farming and our farming economy," he said.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said it is important that farmers stay informed about new technology, equipment and practices that improve food production.

“The Big Iron event is one of the larger outdoor events in the region and will offer farmers a wonderful opportunity to sharpen their skills and knowledge," he said.