If you have never attended the Expo, and you decide to attend this year, it will be a real treat for you.

John Deere will open a new test driving-range for its utility vehicles. The Expo will welcome dozens of new exhibitors this year. One is the Albany State University Water Policy Center with vital information to share on scarce water supplies during drought years such as this one.

Visitors will see another major improvement in the Expo facilities with the expansion of the Priefert horse arena. The Colquitt County Saddle Club had been looking for land to build a new horse arena, when the Expo volunteered to offer the Saddle Club use of the horse facilities on the show grounds. The arena has been expanded to 140- by 250-feet, and equipped with new Priefert corral panels.

The Saddle Club will also provide horse demonstrations during Expo sponsored by Southern States, including some featuring handicapped children who take part in equestrian Special Olympics events and others featuring the Georgia High School Rodeo Association members.

Also for this year, you’ll see some retrofitted miniature Sukup brand grain bins conveniently placed as information booths on the exhibit grounds. These bins will be staffed by individuals who can provide information on the all of the events and exhibits at the farm show.

In a University of Florida exhibit focusing on “the swamp,” you’ll learn this term is much more than just a nickname of the school’s football stadium. The real swamps of Florida and the Southeast contain vital natural resources such as cypress logs, tupelo honey, and a wide assortment of aquatic wildlife, including, of course, gators.

The Titan/Goodyear tire exhibit along with the tire auctions to benefit the Georgia FFA Foundation will be moving to a new exhibit location this year. The new site is at block A-3 of the exhibit grounds, between the John Deere and the Valmont/Valley irrigation exhibits.

The static exhibits, 600-acre working research farm, harvesting and tillage equipment demonstrations and the tractor driving ranges combine to make the Expo the most comprehensive must-attend farm show in the southeastern United States.

Visitors will get the opportunity to evaluate models and brands that might not be readily available in local areas.

The show offers state-of-the-art machinery demonstrations as well as new research-developed farming practices and cutting-edge interactive educational exhibits.

The Expo farm was built over many years on land that had once been an old military airbase. The Expo farm, now managed by Michael Williams, has made a concerted effort to mirror what is taking place on real farms throughout the Southeast.

For instance, this year Williams has greatly increased the farm’s plantings of cotton, a crop that saw strong demand earlier this year and record high prices. More than 200 acres of cotton have been planted on the farm, more than enough to keep the new pickers with built-in module builders busy throughout each day of the show during the harvesting demonstrations. Cotton has been grown every year since the first farm show on the Expo farm.