Readers of this blog may recall when two years ago I confessed that one thing I enjoy about the International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) is that it enabled me to replenish my collection of baseball caps.
However, not long after IPPE 2020, COVID-19 essentially put a stop to in-person trade shows where I would gather caps. I somehow maintained a supply, but as I look at the collection in the photo that corresponded that blog post, I still have only one of those caps, and it’s become pretty scuzzy by now. But I was still able to obtain a few more free caps in the interim.
Finally, in-person events resumed. Albeit a smaller event, but I went to Kansas State University (KSU) Swine Day in November 2021, and got material for a couple of articles for FeedStrategy.com. And just for the record, I did collect a few free caps, while I was there. Probably a few more than I should have.
Once I returned home, I didn’t even take the caps out of my pickup. They just sat on the seat until the next day. As it turned out, that following day, the Seitz and Blue & Gold food products my son had sold as an FFA chapter fundraiser arrived at school. He called me, and asked if I could come pick them up, because they could very well thaw out by the time school was dismissed.
So I went in. I cleared off the pickup’s back seat, and grabbed a couple of caps I wanted to keep for myself. I told my son to help himself to what he wanted. He grabbed two as well. Then, I decided to further share the bounty. I told him to take them into the school’s ag building and share them with his fellow FFA chapter members. And from what I understand, they totally swooped on them. Even the advisor took one, but I heard that the advisor eventually gave that cap to the chapter’s vice president per that student’s request.
So there was a demand. Why not continue to share the joy?
The 2022 cap quest
I decided I wouldn’t go overboard, but I would collect a cap or two at the 2022 IPPE. I learned from my son that caps manufactured by the Richardson company were the best in the minds of rural teenagers.
And I did find one IPPE exhibitor that gave those away. I grabbed a couple more caps of other makes from another booth or two, as well.
Then, the following day, on the show floor, I got into a conversation with some people who recalled my previous cap blog. I was asked if a part two to that blog was coming.
Hmm. Why the heck not?
So I went around the show floor as my schedule allowed that afternoon, and added to the collection. But I didn’t take them from every booth that offered them. There are a few don’ts, at least from my perspective, and my son seems to agree with at least some of my criteria. Some cap shapes just look goofy. And adjustable caps with some sort of buckle in the back, particularly ones that are metal, are just uncomfortable when that buckle touches the back of your head. And no dice on camouflage caps. It’s way overdone. One of my older kids a few months ago gave me a free camouflage cap that advertised his employer, and while I appreciated it and I wear it regularly, one camo cap is sufficient.
But in this, uhh, let’s call it research, I reached a hypothesis. I seem to think that more exhibitors gave away baseball caps at IPPE 2022 than did at IPPE 2020. What will the cap situation be like at IPPE 2023? Time will tell. I plan to keep one from the latest IPPE collection, pictured in this blog, but will send the rest to school.
So to all you IPPE exhibitors that shared caps with your logo, thanks for keeping our FFA youth outfitted!