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Farm & Home Show inspires ideas

Ken Moser (left) of Worthington’s Schwalbach Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, shows off a hot tub model Saturday during the Farm and Home Show at the Worthington Event Center. Ryan McGaughey/Daily Globe

WORTHINGTON — A sunny weekend proved the perfect backdrop for the Radio Works Farm and Home Show — a reintroduced event in the community — at the Worthington Event Center.

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“I’m very happy with it,” said Ken Moser of Schwalbach Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, Worthington. “We’ve gotten some good leads, and this is great exposure.”

A steady stream of visitors frequented the 24-plus vendors who were exhibiting and talking up their services and products throughout the three-day show, which concluded at 5 p.m. Sunday.

“We’ve had constant traffic, especially from 10 a.m. to noon,” said Dan Mehlbrech, an AFLAC representative with First State Bank Southwest. “And bank president Greg Raymo seemed to be pleased with how it was going.”

While some attendees said it was their first time seeing the event center, which opened only nine months ago, others mentioned having been to the site for one occasion or another during the past year.

“We were here for a wedding recently,” mentioned Gina Moore, Worthington, who was joined at the Farm & Home Show by two family members and enjoyed chatting up a friend from Sibley, Iowa. “But we were curious and wanted to come out to see what they had here.”

Whether it was Gone 2 Green (a solar and wind energy company), an implement dealership (both Noteboom Implement and Jaycox Implement were represented) or a health care organization (with Sanford and Avera advertising their medical services), people were milling past the exhibits or lingering longer to pick up information and an occasional piece of candy.

“This is pretty good for a first year,”said Barry Roberts of the sponsoring Radio Works. “We seem to be getting a great response from a lot of people who are in town for various sporting events, and we’ve had really good traffic.

“It’s also a good chance for people to see the new event center.”

Cindy Lonneman of Kitchen & Closet by Colonial Cabinets was pleased to share updates about her business’ new showroom on Oxford Street (in the Schwalbach Ace Hardware building) with so many potential customers.

“We’ve been attracting new customers, both from Worthington and the surrounding area, and the response to the radio ads has been very good,” said Lonneman, standing behind a table generously spread with appealing Cambria and vinyl countertop options.

Perhaps because of the relatively harsh winter to date, it was no surprise that Moser was having a serious conversation with a couple about the heat output and efficiency ratings of new furnaces.

Meanwhile, landscaping professional Dan Krueger and his employee, Kellen Kooi, were tantalizing all comers with their full display of retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, patio tables and paver patios — plus free hot-buttered popcorn.

“Somebody has to [provide popcorn],” smiled Krueger, owner of Ideal Landscape & Design.

“Our motto is ‘Creating and maintaining outdoor living environments,’” added Krueger, who said he’d been giving out “a lot of business cards” and was quickly connecting both with potential clients and returning ones who were looking to resume or expand on past projects when spring ultimately shows its face in the region.

“We do everything from grading, seeding, fertilizing, spraying and mowing lawns to building paver patios, retaining walls, free-standing walls, tables and fireplaces,” listed Kooi. “We also do snow removal, and we’ve stayed very busy with that this year.”

However, Krueger, Kooi and random passersby seemed like they were more than ready to move on from snow removal to planting flowers and shrubs in an effort to create more colorful landscapes when the time is right.

In the meantime, attendees and exhibitors at the Radio Works Farm and Home Show appeared happy enough to consider the range of possibilities spread before them and commit to showing up for a similar event in 2015.

“They may want to tweak the times of the show a little bit, but it’s definitely been worth it to be here,” said Moser of the Farm and Home Show. “I’m sure we’ll be back next year.”