Mid-South Farm & Gin Show scheduled Circle March 2-3 on your calendar for the 49th annual Mid-South Farm &Gin Show, to be held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.

The event, co-sponsored by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and Delta Farm Press, (sister publication of Southeast Farm Press) is the largest indoor exhibit of agricultural products, equipment, and services in the Mid-South, and the largest cotton equipment trade show in the nation. Several thousand people attend the show each year.

"We're in the midst of a very exciting, challenging time for agriculture," says Lee Todd, show manager, and executive vice president of the ginners association. "With a new administration in Washington, and debate soon to begin on a new farm bill, producers have a keen interest in what may be shaping up in terms of agricultural policy and programs. Speakers at our Ag Update sessions will address these concerns, as well as the outlook for key markets, and advances in ag technology."

Speaking at the Friday morning, March 2, session will be John Maguire, legislative director for the National Cotton Council, Washington, who will discuss what's shaping up for agriculture in the new administration. Memphis cotton merchant William Dunavant will give the outlook for that commodity, and Richard Bell, Riceland Foods, Stuttgart, Ark., will provide his analysis of rice, wheat, and soybean markets.

For the Saturday morning, March 3, session, Ark. Rep. Marion Berry will give additional insight into the outlook for agricultural policy and programs, and Mississippi producer Kenneth Hood will discuss the economics and practical applications of precision farming technologies.

Showgoers will find a convention center full of new equipment, as manufacturers continue improving and expanding their product lines.

Most major agrichemical and seed companies will also be represented at the event, offering growers the latest information about their products.

Todd expects more than 400 exhibits at the show.

"Coming just before the new cropping season gets under way, the show will give growers an opportunity to get the latest information about everything that's important to them as they prepare for 2001," he says.

Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

Member associations of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association will be holding their annual meetings in conjunction with the Farm & Gin Show. They include the Arkansas-Missouri Cotton Ginners Association, the Mississippi Cotton Ginners Association, the Tennessee Cotton Ginners Association, and the Louisiana Cotton Ginners Association. Most association meetings and events, including an honors reception/banquet, will be held at the historic Peabody Hotel.

At the group's annual meeting Thursday, March 1, Norma McDill, the new deputy administrator of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service cotton program, will speak.

"We hope everyone will be making plans to attend our 2001 show," Todd said. For almost half a century, he notes, the show's history has been one of growth and progress.

"There's just one reason for this success: It's one of the best ag exhibits in the country, and we intend to keep it that way. We put a lot of effort into improving the show each year. We want everyone to know that when they come to the show, they'll have one-on-one access to the very latest in agriculture."

Larry McClendon, Marianna, Ark., president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, says today's farmers "have to stay abreast of the many changes that are taking place in agriculture, and the Farm and Gin Show is one way they can get the latest information of interest to them."

At the same time all this is going on, the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and its member organizations will be holding their annual meetings.

"We're very pleased to again have Delta Farm Press, one of the Mid-South's most influential and respected agricultural publications, as the co-sponsor of the show," Todd says.

Delta Farm Press reaches key farmers and agribusiness readers in Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and the Missouri Bootheel each week.

Delta Farm Press will also publish the official program for the show, which will be distributed to all subscribers in the Feb. 16 issue and to the Alabama circulation of the Feb. 14 Southeast Farm Press. The program will also be available to all show attendees.