To promote Ag Expo each year, I draw from my archived photos from year's past. In doing so, I came across several photos I'd taken of kids… including several of my own children. I've gone to Ag Expo, every year for probably the last 15 years, and each year my girls would ask to go as the official assistant photographer.
I would go at least two of the three days, so I would spend one day with Emily and then one with Elizabeth. Bringing them both on the same day was not the best idea, as I wised up early on. Besides, this way they each got some individual attention. I always looked forward to combining a day of work with my girls. And, to be honest, even when they were little, they were quite patient when I had to stop and do an interview.
I believe it's because Ag Expo does a good job of providing a mix of hard-core farming vendors, like huge machinery and new technologies, while building on a family atmosphere with entertainment, discovery exhibits, good eats and activities.
This year, Ag Expo again provides plenty of diversity and opportunities for the whole family to enjoy. When dad is off checking out a new hay rake, mom and the kids can be off watching the tractor pulls or a cooking demonstration that provides yummy samples, or in MSU's College of Ag and Natural Resources tent, where you'll find an abundance of activities and educational exhibits, as well as the ever-popular free ice cream.
Michigan's Largest Outdoor Farm Show is set for July 16-18 at Michigan State University featuring more than 250 exhibitors.
This year's show is packed with presentations, discussions and demonstrations aimed at everyone from livestock producers to field crop growers, parents, kids and gardeners.
Last year, more than 18,000 people visited Ag Expo and organizers are hoping to top that this year.
There will be demonstrations on equine pastures, sprayers, tillage, mortality composting and biodiesel processing. And, visitors can test drive wheel loaders, telehandlers and skid steers.
This year will be a little different for me. Emily, who is 16, has decided that she's leaning towards a career in agriculture. And, no, I didn't push for that. She's just a science nut and enjoys being anywhere but behind a desk. We'll be spending some time in the CANR tent where senior leaders are available to provide an update on college activities. As Emily and I began to talk about future careers, this seems to the direction she is heading, and everything I'm hearing from industry experts suggests there are widening opportunities for employment in agriculture. So, grab the kids, make room for grandma and grandpa and make it a family day at Ag Expo. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 16 and 17, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 18. Admission to the grounds and parking at Farm Lane and Mt. Hope Road are free.
For more information about Ag Expo, call 800-366-7055 or visit www.agexpo.msu.edu