County readies for annual Ag Expo

By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer

Two days, 400 vendors, two animal trainers and no admission charge — and it’s all headed to the Ag Expo this year.

The annual show of new agricultural technology, among other things, is set for Feb. 24-25 at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds.

“I think the Ag Expo is a great opportunity for local growers and producers to have contact with the newest and latest technology that could have a meaningful impact on their livelihood,” said Patrick Kircher, county extension agent and member of the event’s oversight committee.

Kircher said local producers don’t have to travel, and the educational seminars are always designed to be timely and relevant.

Also, the general public could find something of interest there, as not all of the booths are agriculture-related, he said.

This year, the Ag Expo is expected to include more than 170 booths with 400 exhibitors, according to the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce. Kircher said displays would range from equipment and feed supplements to clothes and jewelry.

As for educational seminars, horsetrainer and paraplegic Michael Richardson and stock dog trainer Orin Barnes are scheduled.

Richardson has a unique perspective from seeing life in a wheelchair and applies this paradigm to working with horses and dealing with obstacles in life, Kircher said.

“Michael does an outstanding job relating his life experiences to horses,” he said in a news release.

Barnes will work with individual dogs and their owners while explaining his methods to the audience, Kircher said. The owners have been calling to register for the help.

The Ag Expo will also see the return of the antique tractor parades as well.

“People really enjoy the antique tractors,” parade chairwoman Cindy Huffman said. “We are also looking at having a variety of events and games over the two-day show.”

Kircher said the tractor parade was scheduled to happen twice daily during the expo.

There is also a drawing for a free 14-foot stock trailer.

According to the Chamber, entrants must have the tickets punched at various booths, be at least 18 years old and agree to keep the trailer with sponsor logos intact for at least 10 years.

Terry Ervin, Rogers resident and Eastern New Mexico University professor, is serving as Ag Expo chairman for the second time this year, according to a Chamber press release.

Plateau Wireless and Dairy Farmers of America are the major sponsor of the 2009 event.