DODGE CITY – Back in 1950, it was the latest in tractors without cabs – machines like the John Deere B and the McCormick-Deering WD 9 – that brought Kansans out to the forerunner of the state’s biggest farm show.

The early forefathers who began what would become the 3i Show, however, could never have imagined the technology showcased at the 61st annual show this year – from drones and precision agriculture technology to large combines that will cover a few hundred acres in a day.

“It seems like there are more new products than we have ever had at the show,” said Eddie Estes, the veteran director of the show, slated for Oct. 8-10 in Dodge City. “We have a lot of great events there, too.”

He added officials also are excited about the new dates. The show has moved from July to October this year.

Technology has spiraled, after all, from the show’s early days in the 1950s as a traveling caravan until now. The official 3i Show began in 1953.

For 61 years, the event has worn the 3i trademark indicating that it promotes the latest in industry, implements and irrigation. This year’s show is no different. Machinery and equipment aimed at precision agriculture and bettering farmers’ bottom line are among the displays highlighted by the more than 500 exhibitors representing over 1,000 companies.

Back in 1949, the show featured the latest in open-air tractors – machines like the John Deere B and the McCormick-Deering WD 9 – that brought Kansans out to the forerunner of the state’s biggest farm show.

The official show began in 1953 in Hays, then skipped a year in 1954.

Later in the decade, the show rotated between Great Bend and Garden City.

Today, the show is at the Western State Bank Expo Complex, Dodge City.