World Ag Expo

An aerial view of the World Ag Expo in Tulare shows only a small amount of the event's exhibitors and visitors on Thursday morning.

The three day agriculture extravaganza draws in thousands

Despite the rain and chilling winds, it was all hands on deck for the final day of the World Ag Expo in Tulare.

With more than 1,500 exhibits, scheduled shows throughout the day, and plenty of places to stop and eat, there was no shortage of exciting things to do for the thousands of visitors who came through the entrance.

After trekking through the slippery mud to the entrance of the expo, visitors could find themselves overwhelmed if attending this yearly event for the first time. More experienced expo visitors had a better idea of where to go.

“I come every year,” said Randall Montgomery. “I look forward to this expo and plan my visit to it religiously.”

Montgomery travels from out of state to see the latest advancements in agriculture technology. He says that there is so much to see and learn about, that he attends all three days the expo is open.

Montgomery is not alone in his travels. Many of the expo’s exhibitors travel from all over to show off and sell their products.

Barsch Tropicals, a unique and exotic plant business out of Sacramento, made the trip to display and sell their “air” plants. The company specializes in plants that do not need soil to grow, and had a multitude of different plants ranging in sizes from micro to large.

Solex Corporation, a large equipment company out of Dixon, also made the journey down to Tulare to show off their transplanting machines. A representative from the company said that Solex Corp is the #1 seller of hemp transplanters. An informational video that ran just above his head while he spoke displayed the machines in action.

J.Bond & Sons Ltd. travelled from Canada to show their silage bagger at the expo. The silage bagger is a machine that grinds whole pieces of food and then puts the ground food into a bag to sell or use for feed. The machine is a massive spectacle, nearly three times the height of an average adult.

Although some exhibitors travelled long distances to participate in the expo, a few were grateful that the event was close to home.

“We come to advertise our product and see our customers,” said Garry Wilson, the general manager of Strathmore Ladder Company. “A lot of our customers come here. We enjoy coming to the Ag Expo for the exposure and to get to meet new people. There is a lot of people from a lot of different places here. It gives us an opportunity to maybe get into some different markets that we are not currently in without having to travel a great distance to see those people.”

Strathmore Ladder Company does their best to attend the World Ag Expo every year.

Several other local entities had a booth set up at the expo. Some of those include Bakersfield College, Bank of the Sierra, the Sequoia Tourism Council, Setton Pistachio, Southern California Edison, and Vamco Limited Inc.

Even for those who weren’t there to gaze upon the agriculture industries latest technologies, there was still plenty to do. 

Educational shows and panels began at 9:30 a.m. and continued on until the expo closed at 4 p.m.

One of the shows on Thursday morning demonstrated the talents, training, and techniques of using border collies as herding dogs. 

In the middle of the demonstration pavilion located very near the entrance, a large makeshift pen housed herds of sheep. Next to them in large kennels roamed nearly a dozen border collies of all different ages. The dogs’ handlers Rhonda Smith, Joan Cudd, and Geri Byrne readied some of the dogs for the show.

Showing off his newly-learned herding skills was 11-week-old Pip. The puppy ran around a small pen full of sheep as Smith commanded him to lie down and switch directions. The puppy happily followed her commands, and was swooped up into Smith’s arms after his demonstration ended. 

Other shows included “Best Practices For Field Monitoring”, “Cannabis – Is it the New Cash Crop?”, and “Practical Groundwater Table Monitoring.”

The fun didn’t end there. Visitors who had been walking through the expo all day were bound to get hungry, and there were various different cuisines to satisfy every craving. 

Among the various foods to eat were Sundale Union Elementary School’s ribeye steak sandwiches, Kaweah River Senior Drill Team’s ice cream, and LOVE INC.’s burgers. There was also Italian, Spanish, and breakfast options, among the many.

This year’s World Ag Expo began on Tuesday, and came to a close yesterday. Although many are sad to see it go, prospects of what the expo will bring next year keep spirits in the agriculture community at an overall high.

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