Driving along rural highways to get to the World Ag Expo on Wednesday, February 12, was a thrill. Abundant crops in neat checkerboard fields were thrilling to see, and bee boxes were set out in the almond and walnut orchards that lined the roadway intermittently.
It was another wonderful sunny day, again too warm for February, but it makes one proud of the California Central Valley.
Arriving at the Expo, it was already unbelievably crowded, more so on the second day.
In the Farm Dairy Center, a woman from Milc Group, Summer Call, from Apple Valley, had never been to the show. She said, “It’s been wonderful so far, and I’ve been able to connect with a lot of dairy men and women, and learn from them how different operations are run throughout the state.
E.M.Tharp, had a large exhibit, with new trucks, next to an exhibit of new police vehicles. Brandon Tharp was speaking with quite a few customers, and a local radio station was interviewing next door.
Tharp said when there is rain they actually have more customers, “It’s kind of crazy. But we’ve talked to many customers and will have a lot of new business. It’s been a great day.”
EndureQuest Corporation, a business in Porterville that makes heavy duty roto moulded portable restrooms, hand wash stations, horse feeders and stall waterers, and moulded step ups has been in Porterville for 40 years or more. Company representatives Raul Alcantar, Gabriel Coda, and Willie Flores were at the exhibit, with company president Rick Rossner, who said they are manufacturing all the new roto-moulded portable restrooms in Porterville.
“The fair is really great, and it’s given me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. We have been pretty busy.
“Many of the customers are interested in the new portable restrooms which we just finished designing two weeks ago. Raul makes the mould for them.”
Sitting down for a quick lunch, visitors Barbara Summers and Bob Stapert from Visalia spoke about the show. It was Stapert’s first time, and he said, “It’s interesting to see all the types of equipment and all the people.”
“I always have a great time when I come here,” said Summers, “I board horses and did barrel racing. Now we are looking at what we want to do next, maybe plant some trees, like walnuts or pistachios.”
ZeroNox, with most advanced electric vehicles in the industry, is a battery technology company that is in Porterville. John Costanzo, V.P. of Design and Marketing, and Jason Eggett, V.P. Sales were showing the new all electric ETuatara which was like a heavy duty all steel farm or hunting vehicle which is called an expedition vehicle. It is also four-wheel drive.
“We are getting a ton of interest, and we already have 240 pre-orders said Costanzo. Costanzo said, “We are getting our parts from Germany, America, China, and Taiwan, but the vehicles are assembled in Porterville. Robert Cruess, who is one of the main founders of ZeroNox, insisted that the company assemble all of their vehicles in Porterville, because he was raised in Porterville and wanted to give back to the City that gave him everything.”
Costanzo said they have been so busy, that none of the men have had a break, people are sitting in their electric display vehicles, and want to drive them. He said the new ETuatara is so silent, it’s perfect for hunters or farmers. Plus it has a 300 pound winch and a hydraulic dump bed, and can haul over 2000 pounds of materials.”
“The Expo has been awesome,” said Cruess, “We are getting so much awesome feedback from the farm community, especially. This new technology allows electric vehicles to perform at the same level as internal combustion engine vehicles. And everyone can appreciate that.”