South Texas farmers, ranchers, Texas AgriLife officials, and agricultural equipment and supply company representatives will spend two days browsing through the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds, attending workshops for continuing education units (CEUs), and taking part in the South Texas Ag Symposium at the annual Texas AgXchange Farm & Ranch Show Oct. 2-3 in Robstown.
"We started off a number of years ago with the Corpus Christi Farm & Ranch Show and staged it on the Bayfront downtown, but there was a lack of open space where we could conduct field demonstrations for various types of farm equipment. Once the new fairgrounds were constructed, it was a natural transition for us to move to the outskirts of town," said Bob Olsen, organizer of the event.
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Olsen says the show is a must-see-must-do event for folks looking for the latest in equipment and agriculture technology.
"The most successful and popular part of the show last year were the field demos. Last year we had ride-and-drive demos for tractors and high clearance sprayers, a precision agriculture demo that was popular and other demos, plus the large number of vendors that set up to demonstrate products and technology. It was a tremendous draw," he added.
This year the show will offer even more. The number of vendors is increasing from last year's 120 vendor booths to over 150 companies already signed up. In addition, several workshops will be staged by Texas AgriLife for CEU credits including: Integrated Management Techniques for Treating Cattle Parasites, A Practical Design for Pen Design, Improving Reproductive Efficiency and Productivity in the Beef Herd, Do-It-Yourself Brush Control, and others.
"We are also partnering again with the annual South Texas Commodity Symposium, which will run concurrently with the farm and ranch show. The big items on that agenda I know include Farm Bill and legislative updates and they will be reviewing the latest news and updates about cotton, corn and sorghum as well," Olsen added.
Farmers and ranchers will have a lot to take in.
"We were thrilled that so many folks came out last year, our first year in the new regional fairground facilities. We had farmers and ranchers there from all across South Texas and a large number came up from the Rio Grande Valley. Many said they would be back this year, so we're looking for a large turnout."
No admission fee, free parking
Olsen said the event is free to the public and there is plenty of free parking as well. He estimates last year's event attracted "up to a couple of thousand" farmers and ranchers.
"It's hard for us to know the exact number because we don't charge admission, but between those that came to attend the CEU workshops, the symposium, and the large crowds at the outdoor vendor booths and demonstration field, we had a very large crowd."
Planned field demos include a vertical strip versus conventional tillage demonstration and a precision agriculture demo, both scheduled for the morning hours to avoid the heat of the day. But ride and drive demonstrations will continue throughout the day.
"One of the big draws to the show is our huge barbecue staged on the fairgrounds. Vendors will have free tickets for anyone who wants to go so drop by any vendor booth in the morning hours and pick up free tickets to one great BBQ event," Olsen added.
With most cotton and grain harvesting complete across South Texas, the show offers producers a great opportunity to check out the latest technology and equipment, pick up a few CEU credits, and catch up on the latest updates at the ag symposium.
“It's a big show and a great opportunity to mingle with fellow producers and take in the large array of suppliers and technology companies who will be on hand," he said.
For more information on the show, connect to their website for all the details.