TULARE — Traditionally the Farmer’s Almanac predicts rainy weather during early to middle February said Lt. Boatman from the Tulare Police Department, who was helping on the first day of the 2020 World Ag Expo on Tuesday, at the International Agri-Center in Tulare.
But it was a clear, bright, and beautifully sunny day, and at least 30,000 people or more were expected to attend the show. And over the three days, Tuesday, today and Thursday, Feb. 13, there could be anywhere from 90,000 to more than 100,000 people attending from all over the world.
When the gates opened and hundreds of people were lined up to enter, at about 9:30 the Star Spangled Banner was sung, and people respectfully sang with their hands over their hearts.
Boatman said the Porterville Police Department, and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Department were also helping the Tulare Police Department, as well as the Explorers from all over Tulare County.
On the trams that run throughout the Ag Expo, people were getting rides to wherever they needed to go, and all of the Expo volunteers were incredibly helpful and accommodating.
There are more than 266 acres of fascinating new agricultural equipment, such as huge feed mixers, farm trucks, with huge pavilions full of exhibitors throughout the show.
Looking at giant mixers for cattle feed, they look like huge blenders that mix alfalfa, grain, corn silage, minerals and vitamins, or whatever the nutritional needs to keep cows healthy, explained a rancher.
Hopping on one of the trams, Bill Horst, who’s been to all of the ag shows since they started in 1968, or 51 years ago, said there’s lots to see, lots to do, and the food was great. He recommended the Peach Cobbler.
There was a large pavilion where hemp products were being displayed, and an informational talk was being given, explaining oilseed, fiber, and extract type comes from hemp, and hemp fiber has been made to make clothing for years.
For medical use there’s “cannabis” which is used by adults.
A vendor for special bags to keep hemp fresh said there’s a big wave of growers who are getting back into growing hemp because of the huge variety of uses, besides CBD oil, which can be used medicinally.
Besides exhibits of merchandise, and vendors at the show there are also all kinds of seminars at the expo such as a discussion about “Rural Broadband and it’s importance to Agriculture,” to presentations about international trade, and modern professionally installed irrigation, and much more.
Southern California Edison had an exhibit where they had an electric heavy duty farm truck, an electric forklift, and an electric Nissan car. Brian Thoburn said Edison’s theme was to showcase its vision to put a million medium to heavy duty electric vehicles on the road in California, to help the state meet its energy goals for clean energy. He said another important thing was Edison’s efforts to represent its $356 million investment to help their customers to make greater use of electric transportation, including agricultural, business, and residential customers.
Thoburn also said there was a safety demonstration, and Edison Electric Safety Board would give a presentation and explain safety issues of electricity outside the house, around electrical poles.
Later, sitting down having lunch, Ismael Aguirre, from Jordan Central Equipment, in Blythe, Calif., which is near Arizona, said he was at the show to see all the new tractors and farm equipment. “There are people here from everywhere, and it’s wonderful to see all the new equipment that comes out, and meet the people who build them. I love the technical side of the equipment.
Walking down one of the streets, Amanda Yan, from Hergesheimer’s Donuts in Porterville said the Porterville Exchange Club and students had a booth.
Thirteen students from Monache Hospitality Pathways helped out, in two shifts, with the Porterville Exchange Club Concession Stand selling hamburgers, fries, drinks, and specialty deep fried oreos, and more during the day.
Aira Baez, Carla Montejano, Michelle Garcia, Annie Otero, Madison Morris, and Kristina Williamson all said they learned how to prepare food efficiently, quickly, and under pressure, but they had fun and the food was “yummy.”
Johnny Orduno, Yolanda Bocanegra, Betty Luna, and Pete Lara, and others were all helping to run the stand, and Bocanegra, said it was her third time at the expo, and she’s a member of the Exchange Club. ”I love doing this and being a part of the group. They are wonderful people who serve the community of Porterville. And I love working with the students from all our Porterville schools.”
“The reason the Exchange Club does the food concession stand,” said Luna, Club President, “is to fundraise for child abuse prevention, support our veterans, and give scholarships to Harmony Magnet Academy and Strathmore High School.
Luna said to the students as they left, “You’ve done a fabulous job.”