People travel to Memphis for many things: to take in the music — it’s the birthplace of the blues, home to Elvis Presley, and Johnny Cash, Isaac Hayes, and BB King all got their start here; to enjoy mouth-watering barbeque — you can’t go to Memphis without hitting Rendezvous for ribs and BBQ; and Memphis offers culture galore — the Pink Palace, Sun Studios, Cotton Museum, Mud Island, Civil Rights Museum, and more.
Memphis is also well-known for the South’s largest indoor farm show — the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show, scheduled for Feb. 25-26 at the Cook Convention Center in downtown Memphis.
The annual show, sponsored by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association with Delta Farm Press as co-sponsor, boasts more than 400 exhibits and attracts approximately 20,000 domestic and international visitors over the two-day period.
Tim Price, show manager, notes that Memphis has been the show’s home since its inaugural event in 1952.
“Memphis is a great location for our show, not only because of the convention center venue, but because the city has so much to offer people who attend. Memphis is a great all-around destination.”
The trade show offers visitors the year’s first look at innovative technology and new products and services offered by companies serving farmers and agribusiness.
“There are so many new things to see each year — farmers and others really take advantage of this first opportunity to see what’s new, kick the tires on machinery and equipment, and talk directly with industry representatives and experts about the coming year,” Price says.
In addition to the myriad exhibits covering all Mid-South crops, attendees can learn about issues affecting agriculture at the Ag Updates and educational seminars scheduled for Friday, Feb., and Saturday, Feb. 26, at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby meeting room of the convention center.
Friday’s session will feature industry updates, supply/demand outlooks for rice, wheat, and cotton, and market outlooks for all major Mid-South crops. Charles Parker, Senath, Mo., president of the National Cotton Council; Carl Brothers, Riceland Foods, Stuttgart, Ark.; and Joe Nicosia, Allenberg Cotton, Memphis, Tenn., are scheduled presenters.
The Saturday session will feature well-known market analyst Richard Brock, Brock Associates, Milwaukee, Wisc., who will provide an in-depth analysis of grain markets and offer marketing recommendations for the coming year. Brock’s session traditionally attracts a standing-room only crowd.
Educational seminars include a “Top Concerns for Farmers” session, featuring Brian Hefty, co-host of Ag PhD, which airs on RFD-TV.
“We know farmers are interested in talking one-on-one with specialists, like Hefty, who have expertise on production issues,” Price says. “We are inviting farmers to submit questions/issues they want Hefty to address. He will compile these and speak to them at the seminar.”
Hefty is sponsored by FarmLogic. The seminar will be held in the Steamboat Room, mezzanine level, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
A special seminar focusing on managing herbicide-resistant weeds is scheduled for Friday at 3:30 p.m., and will be repeated Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Both sessions will be held in the Steamboat room, mezzanine level. Presenters include Ken Smith, University of Arkansas weed scientist; Daniel Stephenson, weed science specialist, LSU Ag center; Jason Bond, rice weed management, Mississippi State University; and Larry Steckel, Extension weed specialist, University of Tennessee.
Show hours are, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26.