The Family Living Center, located in the East Hall of the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, is part shopping extravaganza, part National Farm Machinery Show reunion and all fun, according to both visitors and vendors.

Visitors can look through a variety of interesting items showcased in more than 50 booths. Family Living Center vendors offer home accessories, collectibles, unique food items, clothing and jewelry. The friendly atmosphere the show offers means exhibitors and attendees often find themselves coming back year after year. The show’s stellar reputation means there is a waiting list of exhibitors hoping for a chance to join the National Farm Machinery Show Family Living Center “family.”

Randy Schmidt, Clarksville, Tenn., has manned his Memory Lane Clocks booth at the show for 8 years. He has built a successful business offering authentic Black Forest German Cuckoo Clocks and engraved powder-coated aluminum cake pans.

“The Family Living Center offers something for everybody in the farm family. Many people come to the Family Living Center to find a souvenir from the show or presents to take home to the people who were left behind,” Schmidt explains. “We pack a lot of sales into a short amount of time. It is an extremely busy and exciting four days.”

Building relationships

He credits the National Farm Machinery Show as being a valuable place to build relationships with customers.

“We do a wide variety of shows throughout the year. I wouldn’t be coming to the National Farm Machinery Show if it wasn’t an excellent show,” he relates. “The National Farm Machinery Show is a wonderful place to meet new people and see old friends. I like the cross-section of people who come to the show. We have customers coming to our booth from as far away as Australia, for example. Over the years we have developed friendships both with the farm families who regularly come to the show and with other vendors.”

Schmidt says the Family Living Center has something to offer everyone. “The Family Living Center offers a unique shopping opportunity. When people come to the National Farm Machinery Show to see new technology, they don’t always realize they will be seeing such a variety of other items too. Who would expect to see authentic Black Forest German cuckoo clocks, for example?”

Relax and shop

The Family Living Center is set aside from the main National Farm Machinery Show exhibit area so that visitors can casually shop for special gifts and souvenirs ranging from farm toys and collectibles for kids of all ages, to unique gadgets for around the house. Attendees have an opportunity to taste and purchase new foods as part of the experience too. The Wisconsin Cheese and Sausage Company brings a variety of tasty treats, while exhibitors like Ely Blown Glass offer unique artistic creations. Visitors can even find telescoping flagpoles in the Uncommon USA booth. A variety of jewelry choices can be found in booths ranging from Woodward Ross Jewelry to Unique Jewelry. And getting back to the machinery portion of the National Farm Machinery Show, if you are set on taking home a smaller version of something you’ve seen on the show floor, visit Matsen Miniature Farms to find 1:64-scale models of implements, farm toys and sheds.

The Family Living Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Feb. 13 to 16 during the show.

For more information and to see a list of exhibitors, visit farmmachineryshow.org.