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1,600 exhibitors expected for World Ag Expo
Huge show runs Tuesday through Thursday
The success of World Ag Expo is well documented, but the 46th show next week in Tulare is shaping up as one of the best.
International Agri-Center CEO Jerry Sinift said not only is every inch of exhibit space accounted for, but there is a long waiting list of companies that would gladly step in if one exhibitor fails to show for Tuesday’s opening.
The 2013 show will run Tuesday through Thursday and visitors will marvel at the innovations in farming — from software programs, tiny micro chips to thousands of pounds of tractors and farm implements. The show has it all.
“We’ve been sold out for weeks,” said Sinift.
Among those expected to attend are the top eight executives of Chase IH, headquartered in France. Patricia Stever Blatter, Tulare County Farm Bureau Executive Director and who serves on the WAE board, said this will be the first time such high executives of a farm equipment company will attend the show.
She said that shows the prestige the show carries.
The World Ag Expo is considered the largest show of its kind. Sinift said approximately 1,600 companies will be represented and he expects more than 100,000 people to attend over the three days. He said among those 1,600 exhibitors are 300 new to the show.
Companies began setting up two weeks ago. For some of the larger exhibitors, it takes days to set up equipment, such as DeLaval that every year sets up extensive dairy displays.
Of course, the large tractor companies are well represented, showing off the latest and greatest they offer. While the size of the equipment has not changed greatly the past several years, the bells and whistles that can be added, such as sensors reading what the harvest is yielding per foot, or GPS mapping, is impressive.
The displays are spread out over 2.6 million square feet of show grounds that his year include a second permanent pavilion. The 60,000 square foot new building, with a cement floor and permanent restrooms, replaces pavilion C. It will house the same exhibitors from that pavilion.
Blatter pointed out the financial impact of the show, saying it pumps $1.6 billion annually into the region. Hotels, motels and restaurants from Fresno to Bakersfield benefit, as do gas stations and stores.
“It’s really a big financial boost,” she said. “It’s become such an iconic part of the local economy.”
The three-day show is not just technology and equipment. Some of the major issues agriculture faces today or sorted out by a variety of speakers. More than 40 seminars will be offered in beef, dairy, hay and forage, international trade, irrigation and general agriculture categories. Seminars presented by professionals in the industry provide attendees with valuable information to improve their operations.
“Not only do buyers and sellers come together at World Ag Expo to do business, but agricultural producers also attend the show to expand their knowledge of agricultural issues, production methods and international trade,” said Sinift.
World Ag Expo’s Entertainment Pavilion will provide entertainment for exhibitors, attendees and the community throughout the three-day span of the Expo. The largest event, the Ag Warriors Benefit, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and will feature Col. Oliver North. The combat-decorated Marine, New York Times best-selling author, small business founder, columnist and host of “War Stories” on the Fox News Channel, will be the keynote speaker at the event which will help returning veterans find careers in the agriculture industry.
The Benefit will support the International Agri-Center’s Ag Warriors program. The program responds to the need to assist veterans in finding long-term employment. Through Ag Warriors, veterans can access resources to connect with employers, schools and other programs with the goal of securing careers in the agriculture industry.
For more information, go to www.agwarriors.internationalagricenter.org or call 688-1030.
Former San Francisco Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky will speak at the Prayer Breakfast at 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. Cost is $15 a person. Call 685-6100 or 688-7569 for tickets.
The Agricultural Leadership Alumni Breakfast will be held at 6:30 a.m. Thursday in the Banquet Hall. Cost: $65 per person. Call 735-9700 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets.
World Ag Expo began in 1968, and was held at the Tulare County Fairgrounds in Tulare, California. The first show attracted 157 exhibitors and 28,000 attendees. By the second year, the show doubled in both attendees and exhibitors, and continued the rapid growth throughout future shows.
Originally named “Tulare’s Field and Row Crop Equipment Show,” it quickly outgrew its name, and became the “California Farm Equipment Show” for the second show in 1969. In 1972, the first foreign manufacturers began displaying their products, leading to another name change, “California Farm Equipment Show and International Exposition”. The current name, World Ag Expo, was adopted in 2001.
With the increase in international exhibitors and visitors, the United States Department of Commerce sensed an opportunity to enhance the U.S. export trade possibilities. The Department of Commerce designated and publicized the show throughout the world as an official affiliate of the Foreign Buyer Program.
How To Attend
- Show runs Tuesday through Thursday.
- On the grounds of the International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare
- Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.
- Admission is $12