The star power of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger may have kicked off opening day, but it was the appeal of 1,600 exhibitors that drew the 100,000 attendees to the World Ag Expo. Held Feb. 9 to 11 in Tulare, Calif., the show marked its 43rd year with a "Powering Global Agriculture” theme.
Considered to be the world's largest annual farm and equipment show, World Ag Expo generated $280 million in sales during its three-day run, says Steve Knudsen, the event's director of communications. The show delivers a year-round economic impact of $1.2 billion for the local economy.
Exhibitors debut new products. The World Ag Expo's 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space almost wasn't enough for 2010. "We were four exhibit spaces away from being sold out this year,” Knudsen says.
Opening-day rains and muddy ground made getting to exhibits tricky but didn't stop attendees.
"The rain might have held down attendance on Tuesday, but the people who stopped were serious. I sold a unit in the first hour of the first day,” says Larry Schieler of Schieler Harvester.
Schieler, of Terra Bella, Calif., generated "at least 10 good leads” displaying his Forklift 180-Degree Bin Inverter. The equipment, which sells for $6,500, was named one of World Ag Expo's 2010 Top-10 New Products.
Another Top-10 New Product on display was the Hoof Supervisor System. The $6,000 unit is a "portable chute-side data recording system for hoof trimmers,” says Keith Sather, owner of Feed Supervisor Software. The software program allows hoof trimmers to record, store and analyze data for each cow's trim session using a portable touch screen.
Newcomer Humdinger Equipment of Lubbock, Texas, sold three units in one day. The Humdinger tillage tool, with a $70,000 price tag, allows farmers to enter the field once after harvest and again just before planting, reducing field passes to two, rather than four or five. The implement is used in a variety of commodities, including rice, milo, corn, cotton, wheat and beans.
For the first time, World Ag Expo announced an Attendees' Choice Award to let showgoers help determine which Top-10 New Product is the most innovative. With 570 votes and an average of four stars (out of five) per vote, Magswitch MagSquare magnets were named the 2010 winner.
Distributed by Forney Industries, Magswitch magnets feature advanced switchable magnetic technology to provide a more precise and easier-to-use alternative to clamp, position or lift ferrous steel for fabrication, welding and general repair projects.
As Schwarzenegger toured the grounds, A.G. Kawamura, who heads the California Department of Food and Agriculture, oversaw the signing of three memorandums of understanding to support dairy waste-to-energy projects in the state.
At an opening-day news conference, Kawamura also joined three Central Valley dairy producers, a dairy digester manufacturer and a power provider representative to announce three dairy digester pilot projects.
The winner of World Ag Expo's 2010 FFA Toyota Tundra Giveaway was Tony Adayan of Parlier, Calif. Adayan won the $30,000 grand-prize truck in a drawing on the final day of the show. Funds raised from the giveaway benefit two FFA chapters in California's Central Valley.
You can e-mail Catherine Merlo at email@example.com.