This year, the 48th World Ag Expo looks larger and even better than ever before with more than 1,500 exhibitors from around the world, all vying for the farmers’ attention.
Likewise, spectators come from around the world to find the latest in technology for preparing for, planting and harvesting their crops.
As usual, WAE takes place the second week in February, Tuesday-Thursday, February 9-11.
WAE offers cooking demonstrations, fashion shows and more than 40 seminars on variety of topics highlighting irrigation, the dairy industry and the future of agriculture.
New this year is a seminar on apiology, as well as some seminars presented by Women in Agriculture for Mentoring and Empowerment (WAME) on mentorship and the future of agriculture.
“We want to educate the young people regarding opportunities in the field of agriculture,” said Pamela Sweeten, a founding member of WAME. “There is so much more to agriculture than just cows and plows.
“It’s not just food, but it’s the cars that we drive and the pharmaceuticals we take and more.”
When Sweeten started in the ag industry many years ago, there were only one or two other women attending any almond industry meeting or seminar, she said.
Today, the demographics are different.
“Women come with a different perspective,” she said, referring in part to motherhood, “we look at things differently.
“We all eat, we all eat food, sometimes we don’t speak up,” she said, “when we need to.”
Young women and men are urged by WAME to attend as many networking and mentoring sessions they can during the three-day event.
While there are approximately 375 varieties of crops and products, grown and/or made in the local area alone, there is a lot of information for everyone packed into WAE.
The film Dead Harvest, which premiered at Visalia’s Fox Theatre in November, will air at 10:30am and 2pm each day of the farm show, said Marissa Carpenter, head of media and public relations for WAE.
“The movie, Dead Harvest, chronicled the effects of years of federal water policy, environmental lawsuits, and the four-year drought on the Central Valley,” as formerly reported in the Valley Voice, and features Tulare farmers Gus Garranza and Mark Watte as well as Congressman Devin Nunes.
The Equipment Showcase, or “Ride and Drive” event has fast become a highlight of those looking for the newest technology in farm equipment, Carpenter said.
Operators pay an additional fee to have the opportunity to show off their tractors and machinery in action, she said, from Bobcats to the largest of tractors and trucks, as well as ATVs and utility vehicles.
“It’s a nice way for attendees to have it come to them, instead of walking around,’” she said.
While walking around is, no doubt, the best way to see all the show has to offer, WAE has also set up live-feed cameras around the grounds, which can be accessed via computer on the International Agri-Center website.
Viewers even have a period of time in which they can scan around and zoom into a particular area, Carpenter said. And, the cameras are on now, even prior to the show opening.
Each year, a group of farmers, ranchers, and ag industry professionals judge and select 10 outstanding new products from World Ag Expo exhibitors. This year’s list includes –
- Ace Pump Corporation – Gemini Dual Pump Kit
- AGCO Corporation – Hesston-Built WR9800 Series RearSteer
- ANC Technology – Intelligent Wireless Irrigation Control System
- Coldwell Solar, Inc. – MegaWash
- Jacto, Inc. – Jacto PJB-16 Battery-Operated Backpack Sprayer
- LiftGator – LiftGator XTR
- Orchard Machinery Corporation – Fully Automated Shaker Technology: Tree Seeker
- Red Fox Safety Products – Fox-Paws
- Tule Technologies – Tule
- Stanley Convergent Security Solutions – Videofied AG Alarm System
WAE hosts more than 100,000 agriculturally-interested spectators, due largely to its hundreds of volunteers working tirelessly throughout the year to create the largest agricultural event in the world.
World Ag Expo general admission tickets are $15.
Show hours are 9am-5pm, Tuesday and Wednesday and 9am-4pm on Thursday.
Free shuttle service is offered to the International Agri-Center from five different locations in Tulare to ease parking congestion.
More information regarding World Ag Expo can be found worldagexpo.org.