MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Top governmental officials, energy company representative and farmers will offer unique perspectives on the current energy situation and its impact on agriculture at a special energy seminar held in conjunction with this year’s Mid-South Farm & Gin Show.

The annual show, sponsored by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and Delta Farm Press, will be at the Memphis Cook Convention Center March 3-4.

The energy seminar will be Saturday, March 4, at 1 p.m.

“Although energy prices have always been a concern for farmers, those costs are increasingly a permanent, fixed expense in a farmer’s budget,” says Tim Price, executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and show manager.

“This seminar will bring together a group of individuals who will provide an overview of energy issues and offer insight into what farmers and agribusiness can expect in the months and years ahead, as well as planning strategies designed to address the upcoming challenges.”

The seminar will feature an outlook and implications for energy costs, including information on pricing, transportation, and procurement of energy sources used in agriculture, including gasoline, diesel fuel, electricity, natural gas, and propane.

“Energy plays a critical role in producing a crop, from the fuel used to run farm trucks and tractors to the electricity used in nearly every facet of the farm operation,” Price says. “Energy costs continue to rise and we want to give farmers information they can use as they prepare for 2006 and beyond.”

A question-and-answer period will be held following the formal presentations, during which participants can comment on presentations and ask questions of the presenters. Additionally, representatives from all segments of energy procurement and marketing will be available for one-on-one sessions following the seminar.

The Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, which annually attracts 15,000 to 20,000 people, will feature approximately 400 exhibitors from more than 40 states and three foreign countries and will occupy over 200,000 square feet of exhibit space in the convention center.

Show attendees will see an expanded number of farm equipment manufacturers, specialized services, the latest in seed varieties, and new technologies in precision farming software and services.

Visitors who go through the exhibit areas are also eligible for prizes, awarded each afternoon, including $2,000 in attendance prizes awarded daily. Drawings will be at noon ($500), 2 p.m. ($500), and 4 p.m. ($1,000).

“The show is a spring tradition for Mid-South farmers, ginners, and others involved in agriculture,” Price says. “Each year we work hard to provide new and different attractions. We have an expanded exhibit space, which provides the opportunity for new exhibitors to complement the companies that have a long tradition of exhibiting at what’s known as the largest assembly of agricultural products, equipment, and services in the South.

“We’re excited about the number of new products, from both traditional and new exhibitors.”

This year’s show will continue the popular Ag Update seminars Friday and Saturday mornings, beginning at 8:30. The sessions will specifically address the latest outlook for commodities, legislation, and other issues.

Speakers scheduled for Friday morning include William Dunavant, chairman of the board of Dunavant Enterprises, Memphis, who will give the cotton outlook; Carl Brothers, senior vice president of Riceland Foods, who will present the rice outlook; and Alan Helms, incoming chairman of the National Cotton Council, who will discuss legislative, trade, and other issues of concern.

Saturday morning’s program will feature popular commodity market analyst, Richard Brock, who will give the grain market outlook for 2006 and grain marketing strategies.

Exhibit areas at the show will be open Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Admission to the show, and the energy seminar, and the Ag Update sessions are free, but registration is required as a show or seminar attendee. Interested individuals can register in one of the following ways:

• Register online at the show’s Web site, southerncottonginners.org. Click on News & Events, then on Energy Seminar.

• Fax your name, business, and business location to the Southern Cotton Ginners Association, at (901) 947-3103.

• Telephone (901) 947-3104 and provide registration information.

• Register in person at the show registration area on the lobby floor of the Cook Convention Center.

For additional information on the energy seminar or the show and related events, telephone (901) 947-3104, or visit the show’s Web site.