OK, no remarks about how things are going to the dogs. True enough, the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show this year will have a special display of Labrador and small breed puppies (and a Lab puppy will be given away to a lucky winner each afternoon at 3:30)…but that's only one of hundreds of exhibits included in the largest show in the 51-year history of the event.
Packaged with this issue of Delta Farm Press is a copy of the official program for the show, which cranks up next Friday morning, Feb. 28, at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. In the program, you'll find a list of exhibitors, maps showing their location, and a lot of interesting articles about what's going on in the cotton and ginning sector these days, along with a wealth of information about things to see and do in downtown Memphis after the show closes each day.
Lee Todd, who's retiring later this year as executive vice president of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and manager of the annual show, is winding up his 17-year tenure with a show that tops all previous records for number of exhibitors and amount of floor space. This, a result of the completion (finally!) of the convention center expansion, which made another 35,000 square feet available, for a total of more than 200,000 square feet.
I recently got a look at the facility, and what's been accomplished is quite impressive. The hodge-podge exhibit layout of the past few years, necessitated by space being lost while construction was under way, is being replaced this year by a completely new arrangement that provides for a much more orderly show and an improved traffic flow. Exhibitors who've been on the waiting list for the last several years for lack of space have been added to this year's show, and several exhibitors have substantially increased their space.
If you haven't been in the last two or three years, or even if you have, this one isn't going to be your usual gin show. So, if you've not already made plans to attend, do some shuffling of your schedule and c'mon to Memphis and check out the big show.
In addition to the hundreds of exhibits and the opportunity for face time with representatives from all those companies, you can hear industry experts discuss what they see ahead. Memphis cotton merchant Billy Dunavant and Riceland Foods CEO Dick Bell will be on hand for their annual prognostications as to what's in store for cotton and grains; National Cotton Council Chairman Bobby Greene and Cotton Incorporated CEO Berrye Worsham will provide updates on what's happening in cotton legislation, research, and promotion; cottonexperts.com economist O.A. Cleveland Jr. will present his cotton outlook; and a Senate Agriculture Committee staff member will discuss Capitol Hill goings-on related to agriculture.
As if all that weren't enough, there'll be more than $4,000 in cash prizes. Check the enclosed show program for details.
We at Delta Farm Press are pleased to co-sponsor this outstanding show, and we look forward to seeing you in Memphis next weekend.