In the midst of uncertainty — about the economy, the changing Mid-South agricultural landscape, and input prices - the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show remains a bright spot on the new year's horizon.

The 57th annual event, sponsored by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, with Delta Farm Press as co-sponsor, is scheduled for Feb. 27-28 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis.

“It may seem strange to some to connect a farm show with optimism,” says Tim Price, executive vice-president of the ginner association and show manager, “but this show provides opportunity for people to come together to make future plans as they face the pressing decisions of the coming cropping season.

“This show really invigorates people, giving them a first look at new technologies and a first listen to respected analysts with information on market potential and marketing techniques.”

The show provides a forum for both traditional and cutting edge agriculture, Price says.

“Last year, a highlight was the new onboard module cotton picker, an exciting technology for an agricultural industry that continues to react and adapt to an rapidly-varying environment that has essentially been overwhelmed with tremendous change.

“The 2009 show will offer a familiar setting where people can bring family, meet friends and new acquaintances, talk about the issues of the day, and see new and innovative technology that helps address specific farming issues.”

The event, which attracts about 20,000 domestic and international decision makers annually, will encompass both the familiar and the cutting edge as companies unveil new technologies in seed and crop inputs, as well as equipment innovations that will make farming easier and potentially more profitable, Price says.

More than 400 exhibitors will offer a wide range of products and services. “Since our show comes just before the start of the new season, it will offer growers an opportunity to interact with industry suppliers and to get the latest information for use in making key crop management decisions.”

“We will have many new exhibitors, bringing a wide array of products,” Price says, “and combined with our every-year exhibitors, it's going to be a very diverse show, spanning all the major Mid-South crops.

“While we're proud of the cotton and ginning heritage of the show, it has evolved over the years into a stage for exhibitors representing all Mid-South crops, including the cash grains that have become such a dominant component in the past few years.

“We believe it is the premier indoor farm show in the South.”

Details on the popular Ag Update Seminars are being completed, Price says, and a special Saturday seminar is being planned.

Exhibit hours at the show are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday. Visitors who view the exhibit areas are eligible for prizes, awarded each afternoon, including $2,000 in attendance prizes each day.

For additional information, contact Price at 901/947-3104 or visit the association Web site: www.farmandginshow.com.