AG Watch

New attractions at the World Ag Expo

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Thousands gathered in the South Valley today for the first day of the World Ag Expo.

When people think of the World Ag Expo they usually think massive pieces of agriculture equipment and maybe the tri-tip sandwiches.

But for many companies the Ag Show is an international event that is crucial for their Ag-related business.

Drivers lined up around Paige Avenue in Tulare to attend the first day of the World Ag Expo.

"It's really important event for the Central Valley because it brings in a lot of dollars."

2013 World Ag Expo Chairman Joe Raney says from the booked hotel rooms to out-of-towners shopping in local stores, the farm show generates millions of dollars for the area.

While many come to eye the big equipment, others are here to learn something.

"We have a lot of really good seminars at the show too that educate the farmers; people come and look at them. We have the beef industry this year," Raney said.

This year attendees and exhibitors can enjoy the brand new "Pavilion C." the 60,000-square-foot facility is now a permanent building instead of a tent.

"This facility is awesome I was surprised when I got here."

Chris Hartter is from Precision Planting in Illinois. He says coming to the World Ag Expo is a must for his business. Hartter says the farm show helps their company make contacts with lots of potential customers.

"The western part of Mississippi there are so many pockets of corn it's hard for us to go out to all those pockets and educate growers where they can all come into a show like this is very beneficial," Hartter said.

Precision Planting's high-tech software lets growers see how accurately they're getting their high-priced corn seed into the ground.

"Every blue dot, that row means it's doubling up."

Michael Wallen from Maf Industries in Traver says even if just two percent of attendees here are looking to buy their tomato scanner it was worth coming to the show. He says growers are always searching for new technology to help them save money and be more productive.

"There's a lot of people that come out here to look at the new ingenuity and design in packing house equipment. We try to bring something new every year," Wallen said.

The international show attracts more than 100,000 attendees from over 70 countries.

With weather in the upper 60s all week, Ag officials here hope that boosts attendance even more.

The ag show is still open. Gates close here at 5 p.m.

If you don't want to head out to the World Ag Expo for the ag equipment and technology you can at least check out The Wine and Cheese Pavilion.

This year, The Wine and Cheese tent features wine from two local wineries. Milla Vineyards is from Fresno. The winery says it makes its wine in an Old-Italian style with no added chemicals or sulfites.

Attendees can sample the wine and grab some cheese to pair with it or they can buy a full glass.

Milla Vineyards says it loves showcasing their local wine at the World Ag Expo.

"It's a great experience to showcase our wines worldwide without having to travel worldwide," Joey Milla said.

George Myer of Farmer's Fury Winery, "We get a lot of farmer's come up here and they love the name, they love the wine and I tell them what we're about and they're really excited for us."

Farmer's Fury Winery out of Lemoore is also at The Wine and Cheese Pavilion. Farmer's Fury says it's received a lot of local support from farmers and other people in the South Valley.

The 2013 World Ag Expo runs through Thursday. It costs $12 to get in.

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

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ag report, ag watch, jessica peres
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