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Record count of exhibitors for farm show

Two-day event wraps up today

STERLING – You don’t want your farm buildings to reach the point of no return, according to a construction company owner who specializes in repairing such buildings.

Scott Hammer, who owns Erie-based Hammer Construction, was one of about 60 exhibitors Friday at the eighth annual Northwestern Illinois Farm Show at Westwood Fitness & Sports Center. This year brought more exhibitors than any previous year, said Kim Ewoldsen, executive director of the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, which co-sponsored the event.

Exhibitors cover a variety of agricultural needs, from farm equipment and seed to banking and landscaping.

The show also sold more than 500 advance tickets, topping all previous years, she said. The 2-day event ends today.

Hammer’s offerings include steel shingles. He guarantees his steel for 45 years, while paint usually is guaranteed only 10 years and starts to look shabby after about 5, he said.

Often a farmer will let a building deteriorate out of fear that repairs will be too costly, but “a lot of times it’s more feasible to fix it up than tear it down,” he said.

A typical barn restoration costs about $10,000, he said. Many repairs on a large barn can cost up to $30,000, he added.

Hammer, 42, is an Erie native. He graduated from Erie High School in 1988.

Hammer Construction will serve farms within a 50-mile radius of Erie. It has four full-time employees.

For more information, call 815-499-3425 or find the company on Facebook.

If you go

The eighth annual Northwestern Illinois Farm Show continues from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at Westwood Fitness & Sports Center, 1900 Westwood Drive, Sterling.

Admission is $2 for adults and free for children 12 and younger. Those who attended Friday do not have to pay today.

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