Preparations begin for 12th annual Ag Expo

Michelle Seeber

The state of New Mexico’s economy much depends on agriculture and ranching, and for the past few years, the dairy industry has brought even more dollars into the state.
To keep up with the changing trends and newest products of these industries, the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce and the Roosevelt County Extension Office will present on Feb. 24 and 25 the 12th Annual New Mexico Agricultural Expo.
Sponsored by The New Mexico Bank & Trust and Plateau Wireless, presenters of the Ag Expo expect to draw more than 400 exhibitors from across the United States and Canada to showcase the latest equipment available to farmers, ranchers and dairymen at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds.
“We have a great farm show here,” Roosevelt County Extension Agent Floyd McAllister said Friday. FFour thousand to 5,000 people come through the gates. We’ve been here 12 years, so we’ve been around awhile.”
The 2003 Ag Expo featured vendors from all phases of agriculture from the latest in tractor and farm equipment sales to crop dusting to veterinarian supplies.
Larry Levacy, part owner of Levacy Sprinkler Inc. in Portales, said he’ll beshowing new technology in center pivot irrigation.
The irrigation equipment, he said, irrigates at different speeds in a circle and distributes water to crops.
“We’ll have new and different types of nozzles we can put on these,” Levacy said. “We’ll also have the latest technology that you can put on your computer to operate them from home.”
Last year, dairy vendors demonstrated everything from the latest in lagoon pumps to feeding equipment. Ranchers got a taste of the latest in how to care for saddles to new and innovative ways to store water for their cattle.
Anna Foster, public relations and events coordinator for the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce, said these vendors, plus hundreds of others, are expected back for the 2004 New Mexico Ag Expo.
In addition, she said, visitors will find more than vendors at the expo.
Women who accompany their spouses to the event will have an opportunity to shop in the Women’s building where 15 arts and craft booths will be available, along with a style show, she said.
“A quilt show, featuring antique quilts will be available for viewing throughout the Expo, and a seminar on dating quilts and how to care for them is being offered, as well as two cooking workshops,” she said.
Portales resident Gaynelle Thomas, organizer of the Women’s Building, said the booths will have crafts, cooking supplies and jewelry for sale and a cooking demonstration.
Seminars for both men and women also are scheduled throughout the two-day event.
Tuesday events include two workshops on using horses and preparing them for show by Buster McLaury of Paducah, Texas.
Professor Clay Mathis of New Mexico State University will offer an update on current United States animal identification plans. Professor Mark Renz of NMSU will bring Expo goers up to date on pesticides and chemicals, and Professor Denise McWilliams, also of NMSU will offer a seminar on manure nutrient utilization.
Seminars being offered on Wednesday include estate planning by Kathleen Haynes, a Clovis attorney and a milking frequency seminar for dairymen by Professor Hilliary Sullivan of NMSU.
Antique tractors have always been a hit for Expo goers. Both days include tractor parades and tractor games.
Foster said that with the success of last year’s first registered dairy heifer sale, the second annual sale has been planned for Wednesday. Foster added that an antique auction will wind down the Ag Expo on Wednesday.
Other events taking place during the expo include a vendor’s reception on the Monday before the Ag Expo begins, a chuck wagon lunch on the fairgrounds and a soup lunch.
The annual Ag Expo banquet, sponsored by Wells Fargo and hosted by Farm Bureau and Eastern New Mexico University, is scheduled for Tuesday evening at Eastern New Mexico University.
The banquet speaker will be Lowell Catlett, the regent’s professor and extension economist at New Mexico State University. He is also a consultant to 50 of the top 400 Forbes businesses of the United States, Foster said.
Exhibitor space still is available for the Expo, Foster said. To beat any late fees, applications must be received by Dec. 30.
For information regarding the expo, contact Pat Willis at 1-800-635-8036, email chamber@portales.com or check Ag Expo on the chamber web page at www.portales.com.