More than 400 exhibitors from over 40 states and three foreign countries are signed up to fill more than 200,000 square feet of exhibit space for the 55th annual Mid-South Farm & Gin Show.
Some 20,000 farmers, ginners, agribusiness representatives, and others interested in Mid-South agriculture will attend the two-day event, scheduled for March 2-3 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center.
The South's largest indoor farm show and the nation's largest cotton industry exhibition, the event is sponsored by the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and Delta Farm Press.
In addition to the big show, which will feature a broad array of farm equipment manufacturers, specialized services, the latest in seed varieties, and new technologies in precision farming software and services, there will be informational seminars on marketing, biofuels, legislation, commodity price outlooks, and other key topics of interest as farmers get ready for the 2007 season.
“Each year we welcome new and different attractions,” says Tim Price, executive vice president of the ginner organization and show manager.
“Our expanded exhibit space provides the opportunity for new exhibitors to complement the companies that have a long tradition of exhibiting at the show. We will showcase new products from both traditional and new exhibitors, offering the first opportunity for people to see these newly developed products.”
In addition to the extensive exhibits, the show features the popular Ag Update sessions Friday and Saturday mornings, beginning at 8:30.
“This year's Ag Update programs will specifically address the latest outlook for commodities,” Price notes.
Friday morning speakers include Carl Brothers, senior vice president, international rice and partnerships, Riceland Foods, Inc; and Joe Nicosia, Allenberg Cotton. The newly-elected chairman of the National Cotton Council, John Pucheu, will also participate in the session.
At 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Mike Stevens, cotton specialist with SFS Futures, will conduct a seminar on cotton marketing.
Saturday morning's Ag Update program will feature popular commodity market analyst Richard Brock, who will give the market outlook, strategies for marketing grains in 2007 and projections on the economy and other issues for the coming year.
Saturday at 1 p.m., attendees are invited to get the latest information on the energy industry at a special seminar, The Energy Outlook: Challenges and Potential for Agriculture.
“Energy remains a top issue and concern in our industry,” Price says. “Over the past 12 months, however, we've seen a change to the increasing role of agriculture in fueling our energy needs.
“This seminar will feature perspectives from government officials and energy company representatives, who will give unique insight about the current energy situation and its impact on agriculture, as well as what farmers and agribusiness can expect in the coming months.”
Speakers include Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., and James K. Allwood, senior vice president, Informa Economics. Agency officials, energy suppliers, and distributors will also weigh in on the discussion.
“We're pleased to have such a top-notch lineup of speakers for this year's informational sessions,” Price says, “and we hope everyone will make plans to attend.”
Exhibit hours at the show are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday. There is no admission charge for the show, but registration is required to visit the exhibit areas.
The annual meeting of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association will be held Thursday, March 1, at 1:30 p.m. at the Peabody Hotel.
The session will focus on cotton quality and legal issues related to cottonseed. Speakers are Vikki Martin, Cotton Incorporated; Tommy Valco, USDA/ARS; Rick Byler, USDA Cotton Ginning Laboratory; and attorney John W. Lewis. Anyone interested in these topics is invited to attend.