Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., is among those who will speak at the Ag Update sessions at this year's Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, to be held Feb. 27-28 in Memphis.

He serves on the Agriculture Committee and is also a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

“The congressman is actively involved in many issues of interest to agriculture,” says Tim Price, show manager and executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, which sponsors the annual event. “And on the Energy Committee, he works closely with alternative fuels issues, a topic of much interest to Mid-South producers.”

The show, now in its 52nd year, is co-sponsored by Delta Farm Press, and is held at the downtown Cook Convention Center.

“We've got another sell-out,” Price says, with all 200,000-plus square feet of exhibit space already committed. Last year's completion of the convention center expansion opened up an additional 35,000 square feet of space.

It is the largest indoor farm show in the South, and the largest cotton equipment trade show in the nation.

“We're going to have a great lineup of exhibitors, offering a huge array of equipment, services, and products,” Price says. “We've got many new exhibitors this year, and a number of our long-time exhibitors have expanded their space, so there's really going to be a lot to see and producers should be able to go home with a lot of valuable information and contacts.

“With the expansion of the convention center, we now have a top-notch exhibition facility. Anyone who hasn't been to the show in the last two or three years will really be impressed with all the changes that have been made.”

In addition to Rep. Pickering, other speakers for the popular Ag Update sessions will include Memphis cotton merchant William B. “Billy” Dunavant, who will give his annual outlook for cotton; Richard E. “Dick” Bello, president and chief executive officer of Riceland Foods, who will discuss the outlook for rice and grains; and Woody Anderson, incoming chairman of the National Cotton Council, who will provide an update on the council's programs and legislative activities.

All will speak at the 8:30 session Friday, Feb. 27, in the lobby auditorium of the convention center.

Rep. Pickering will speak at the 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28 session, and a second speaker is to be announced.

Doors open for the big show at 9 a.m. both days and close at 5 p.m. Friday, 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 show. Headquarters for the ginners is the Peabody Hotel.

Participating at the Arkansas-Missouri Cotton Ginners Association, the Mississippi Cotton Ginners Association, the Tennessee Cotton Ginners Association, and the Louisiana Cotton Ginners Association.

The SCGA annual meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Peabody, beginning at 1:30. A number of awards will be presented, recognizing ginners who have completed certification and those who are winners in the SCGA-sponsored gin safety program. The speaker will be Mississippi producer/ginner Kenneth Hood, who will discuss his experiences with technology adoption in his operations.

The official program for the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, to be published by Farm Press, will be included in the Feb. 13 issue of Delta Farm Press and will go to the Alabama circulation of Southeast Farm Press in the Feb. 11 issue.