From the latest in equipment, to seed, chemicals, and services, and other products, growers will find it in the hundreds of exhibits that make up the largest indoor farm show in the South, to be held at Memphis Feb. 28-March 1.
With the completion of the expansion of the Cook Convention Center — finally — the show will be some 35,000 square feet larger than last year.
“It's going to be almost like a totally new show,” says Lee Todd, executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, which sponsors the show.
“With all the extra space, we've been able to accommodate companies that have been on a waiting list. Also, a number of companies are expanding the size of their exhibits.
“So, we hope everyone will be making plans to come out and be a part of this record-setting show.”
The 51st annual show will offer a cornucopia of commercial exhibits — from A to Z — for the thousands who attend from all over the Mid-South.
This year's show will come just before most farmers kick off the new season, notes Todd, and “it will offer an opportunity for growers to get the latest outlook on crops and markets from two Ag Update seminars, plus meeting face to face with representatives for a wide range of equipment, products, and services,” he says.
The event, co-sponsored by Delta Farm Press, is the largest indoor assembly of agricultural products and equipment in the Mid-South, and the largest cotton equipment trade show in the nation.
Already a sell-out, the show will cover in excess of 200,000 square feet. “Bring some comfortable walking shoes,” Todd says, “because there's going to be a lot of space to cover.”
Food service will also be expanded and made more convenient so showgoers can take a break for refreshments and/or lunch.
This year's show will continue the perennially popular Ag Update seminars. “We always have a packed house for these sessions,” Todd says, “and this year should be no exception as growers try to get as much information as possible on which to base their decisions for the new year.
“These are very challenging times for agriculture, and farmers attending the show will have an opportunity to get the latest news on agricultural issues and crop outlooks.” The yearly Ag Update informational sessions will feature the following speakers:
Friday, Feb. 28: Bobby Greene, Alabama ginner/warehouseman and chairman-elect of the National Cotton Council, who will give an update on Council programs and legislative efforts; Richard E. Bell, president and chief executive officer of Riceland Foods, who will give the outlook for rice, soybeans, and wheat; and William “Billy” Dunavant, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Dunavant Enterprises, who will present his annual cotton outlook.
Saturday, March. 1: O. A. Cleveland, Jr., former Mississippi State University economist and an international authority on cotton marketing, will give his analysis of the cotton sector, and Barry Worsham, president of Cotton Incorporated, will present an overview on current programs of the producer-funded promotion and marketing organization. A third speaker, a staff member from the Senate Agriculture Committee, will also be on the program.
The doors for the big show open at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday and close at 5 p.m. Friday, 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.
Member associations of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association are holding their annual meetings in conjunction with the Farm & Gin Show. Headquarters for the ginner events will be the Peabody Hotel.
Participating are the Arkansas-Missouri Cotton Ginners Association, the Mississippi Cotton Ginners Association, the Tennessee Cotton Ginners Association, and the Louisiana Cotton Ginners Association.
In addition to all the great information, show attendees will have an opportunity to win cash prizes in drawings held during the show's two-day run.
The official program for the show, which includes information about exhibitors, things to do, places to eat, along with stories and photos related to Mid-South ginning and agricultural production, is published by Farm Press and will be mailed with the Feb. 21 issue of Delta Farm Press and to Alabama subscribers in the Feb. 19 issue of Southeast Farm Press.