The Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, which opens its 59th annual exposition at Memphis this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25-26, is billed as the South’s premier farm show and the South’s largest indoor farm show.
It attracts more than 20,000 domestic and international visitors and features over 400 interactive exhibits.
But, says Tim Price, show manager, “There’s so much more involved in this agricultural trade show than the exhibits that cover nearly every square inch of display space in the downtown Cook Convention Center. “
Among the special seminars and outlook sessions in this year’s lineup at the show, which is sponsored by the Southern Cotton GInners Association (SCGA) and Foundation, with Delta Farm Press as co-sponsor, are:
SCGA annual meeting
The association and foundation conduct their annual meetings Thursday, Feb. 24, at the Peabody Hotel, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the Venetian Room. Anyone interested in the presentations on the program is invited to attend.The topics include:
- Cotton Issues, Ken Fountain, president, National Cotton Ginners Association
- Cotton Acreage and Infrastructure Update, Matt Fannin, LSU Ag Center
- Ginning Research Update, Dr. Bobby Hardin, USDA-ARS
- Ginner Panel – Key issues moving forward: Panelists are David Blakemore, Kenneth Hood, Richard Kelley, Larry McClendon
Ag Update Sessions
Educational seminars are a key component of the Farm and Gin Show. Sessions Friday and Saturday begin at 8:30 a.m. in the lobby meeting room of the convention center.
Presiding will be Richard Kelley, SCGA president, Burlison Gin Co, Inc., Burlison, Tenn. Topics will be:
- Cotton Issues – Charles Parker, Senath, Mo., chairman, National Cotton Council
- Outlook for Rice and Wheat, Carl Brothers, senior vice president, Riceland Foods, Stuttgart, Ark.
- Outlook for U.S. and World Cotton, Joe Nicosia, CEO, Allenberg Cotton Co., Memphis, Tenn.
“Our show is known for its additional educational opportunities,” Price says, “and this year, there are several.
- Friday, 1:30 p.m., Steamboat Room, mezzanine level of the convention center:Top Concerns for Farmers, Brian Hefty, co-host of the Ag PhD TV show. Farmers can submit questions via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; or by posting a question on the Farm and Gin Show Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com\farmandginshow.
- Friday, 3:15 p.m. and Saturday, 1:30 p.m., Steamboat Room, mezzanine level of the convention center – Herbicide Resistant Weeds, a panel discussion featuring Ken Smith, University of Arkansas Extension 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 .
Ongoing throughout the show will be an effort to highlight food and fiber insecurity. “This involves food and fiber donations,” Price notes, ‘as well as cash contributions to help the Mid-South Food Bank and other local charities address food and fiber insecurity.’
“In 2010, the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show joined with Syngenta Crop Protection and its ‘Weeding out Hunger with Halex GT’ campaign to donate more than $3,000 and 500 pounds of food to the Mid-South Food Bank,” he says.
“Syngenta will continue the effort again this year, collecting food and funds for the food bank on behalf of all attendees and exhibitors of the trade show. Food collection barrels will be located near the entrances to the show.
Additional charitable efforts being conducted at the show include:
- Bayer – for each show attendee who signs up at the Bayer booth, the company will donate $5 to local charities.
- Phytogen – a gift of cotton products.
- Syngenta Seed Care – “Fiber of Giving” program collects blankets, sheets and other bedding for the fiber insecure.
The Mid-South Food Bank serves 200 agencies with 285 charitable feeding programs in 31 counties in the tri-state area of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, including many rural and farming communities. These agencies include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, youth programs, rehabilitation centers, residential programs, senior programs and day cares. For more information, visit the Mid-South Food Bank website at www.midsouthfoodbank.org.
Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free, but registration is required for entry to the exhibit areas. More information is available at www.farmandginshow.com