The Mid-South Farm and Gin Show will celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, and plans are already under way for the big event March 1-2 at the Memphis Convention Center.

“This will be a milestone for the show and for our ginner members,” says Lee Todd, executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, “and we're planning to make it a very special time for everyone.”

The SCGA includes the Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas/Missouri cotton ginners associations.

The show, co-sponsored by the ginner group and by Delta 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 each year from the Mid-South, Southeast, and Southwest states.

“We've made an incredible amount of progress over the past half-century,” Todd says.

“We've gone from hand picking to early generation one-row harvesters to today's quarter-million-dollar six-row units loaded with sophisticated electronics. And today's sophisticated, high-speed cotton gins are light years removed from those of 50 years ago.

“It has been a remarkable era, and we want our 50th anniversary show to reflect the many advances that have taken place in production and ginning technology. We're going to make it the best show ever, and we hope everyone will circle those dates on their 2002 calendar and make plans to come to Memphis and celebrate with us.”

From the latest in equipment to seed, chemicals, and services, and other products, growers will find it in the hundreds of exhibits that make up the largest indoor farm show in the South. “From early exhibitor interest, we're expecting another sold-out show,” Todd says. He's expecting more than 400 exhibits.

“With our show taking place just before the new season gets under way, growers have a unique opportunity to obtain the latest information about everything that's important to them as they make decisions for the 2002 crop year that's just around the corner,” Todd says.

“From its beginning, the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show has attracted leading farmers, ginners, and agribusiness companies for a simple reason: It's one of the best agricultural exhibits in the United States.”

Also a big draw for attendees are the Ag Update Seminars, held Friday and Saturday mornings. These always result in a packed house, and feature commodity outlooks and discussions involving new technology and production systems, as well as political/legislative issues.