Special activities are once again planned for young farmers and their families on Wednesday, Oct. 17. These include a barbeque cooking contest, a horseshoe-pitching tournament, and an evening reception and dinner with valuable door prizes and entertainment.

Within the exhibits, the Expo maintains a full schedule of seminars and presentations that will educate, inform and entertain visitors. Many exhibits will offer interactive displays and activities that allow visitors to try out new equipment useful in farming.

The Santa Gertrudis Breeders International will sponsor the beef presentations this year for the first time. In addition to the traditional presentations by Extension beef and forage specialists, the beef presentations will also feature three producers from the Southeast who will be sharing their own experiences in raising cattle.

Other presentations will cover a variety of topics relating to animal agriculture. Some of these include alpaca management, commercial fish farming and pond management, cow milking demonstrations and dairy farming presentations, goat and sheep herd health seminars, and seminars on poultry production.

These presentations and exhibits make the Expo one of the best places for people to get information on starting up a new farm animal enterprise. Veteran animal agricultural producers will also benefit from these presentations, according to Blalock.

In the Georgia Agriculture Building opened last year, representatives of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the Georgia Farm Bureau will be offering a full schedule of cooking demonstrations.

Visitors will also find a variety of cooking demonstrations in the Family Living Building. The Family Living Building will also be the site of the Expo’s popular backyard gardening presentations. The Family Living exhibits will also feature renowned regional artist Jack DeLoney who may be making his final Expo appearance. DeLoney specializes in painting watercolor scenes of farming’s past, and he has recently announced his impending retirement as a commercial artist.

Titan/Goodyear and the Georgia FFA Foundation will hold tire auctions on Tuesday and Wednesday of the show, with proceeds from the auction used to benefit FFA activities in the state.

Early in the history of Expo, Alabama was the first spotlight state exhibit, and this year Alabama returns as the Expo’s spotlight state exhibit. Several organizations from the state are collaborating to show off the diversity of Alabama agriculture. “We extend a special invitation to farmers and their families from Alabama, and we are honored to welcome our many Alabama friends and neighbors to this year’s show,” adds Blalock.

Within the 100-acre exhibit area, visitors will find special exhibit sections featuring lawn and garden equipment, pickup and automotive displays, irrigation equipment, all terrain vehicles, hunting and fishing supplies, precision farming software and hardware, farm fencing, farm buildings, electricity, propane gas, antique tractors, sawmills and logging equipment. Don’t overlook the hundreds of small exhibits featuring a wide variety of products and services that can be found in the Expo’s agribusiness buildings.

The Expo is unique among farm shows because it has its own 600-acre research farm where farmers can get a close-up view of the latest equipment working in the fields. For many years, the Expo has been considered the largest farm show in the world with working equipment in its harvesting and tillage demonstrations.

In the fields, visitors will be able to test drive new Chevrolet pickups along with tractors equipped with automated steering and precision farming technology.

New field demonstrations are planned for this year featuring modern drain tile installation. These demonstrations will take place in a field directly behind the Expo farm shop. Precision farming technology such as global positioning systems will be used to design the new drainage system and to make sure it is put into the ground with pinpoint accuracy. The Expo invites farmers to come and see how drain tile can improve both the soils and the crops of many farms throughout the Southeast.