AG Watch

Highs and Lows of World Ag Expo

Sunday, February 07, 2010

The economy has hurt many agricultural businesses in the Central Valley. Expo organizers hope they have some career solutions and vendors hope they have enough appeal to grow their business.

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On Tuesday, this dirt lane will be filled with thousands of farmers from around the Valley and the world.

"Presentation is very important," said Ray Martinez.

Martinez knows it takes more than clean equipment to make a sale at the World Ag Expo&especially when the economy is recovering from a recession. "We have programs for zero percent down, zero interest for 60 months, 42 months, depending on the product they're interested in," he said.

Martinez was up against nearly 2,000 exhibitors last year. However, this year organizers tell Action News the number of vendors has fallen to 1,500 because of tough times.

Before this wind machine can be shown off to interested citrus growers Lance Gonzales has to test it first.

Gonzales: It's a brand new eveco motor. It's the first time it's been fired so there's a little bit of paint and everything burning off of it."

New to the Ag Expo this year is the career and education center. It's helping out-of-work farmers find jobs and if need be, go back to school.

Mattie Maximo with Fresno State said: "Numerous amount of programs depending on what you would like to do. If you can't find work right now there are a vast majority of majors."

In anticipation of large hungry crowds restaurants like Apple Annies in Tulare have expanded their staff.

Store manager Darlene Trevino said: "Extra inventory, extra food. We did some hiring. We got another cook, another bus boy."

Local hotels are filling up this week which normally forces customers to stay in surrounding cities as far north as Madera. However this year the Valley Inn, which normally sees several reservations, has not received a single one.

Doug Foster said: "We are pretty much resigned to the fact that with all the new rooms in Fresno and Clovis that tide is not going to flow unless the economy greatly improves and the attendance at the farm show expands."

We did find one hotel in Tulare that had a last minute cancellation of 20 rooms.

Management was not worried. They expect it to be filled by Monday.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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tulare, agriculture, world ag expo, ag watch, john-thomas kobos
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