If you are considering buying a new combine, curious about the latest outlook on the world agricultural market, or just want to learn what is on your farming neighbor's mind, the recently held Southern Farm Show was the place to be. The annual farm exposition was held at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, Feb. 1-3, and there was something for every farmer there.
Where else can you find an adjustable wrench longer than your leg or a grouping of heavy equipment tires large enough for you to stand up in them? Over 500 exhibitors bring their wares to the show each year. All the major equipment dealers are at the show, including a number who have multiple dealers that set up numerous exhibits. For example, you could find John Deere equipment at the outdoor exhibits and in the Jim Graham Building -- and probably at a number of other exhibits at the show as well.
Show manager David Zimmerman notes ever year there are more associations holding their annual meetings or major workshops at the show. A few of them include the N.C. Soybean Producers Association, the Pork Council, the Carolinas Farm Stewardship Association, the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina and the Wake County Agribusiness Council. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services not only has an assortment of exhibits in the Jim Graham Building but the Department puts on the N.C. Agricultural Development Forum and Commissioner Steve Troxler delivers his annual State of Agriculture address during the show.
And there are plenty of other educational opportunities as well. Dan Smith of Top Third Ag Marketing presented a workshop on Marketing for the 2012 Crop Year for the N.C. Soybean Producers Association. During the N.C. Ag Development Conference, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden delivered an overall assessment from the farmers' slant of the current national economic situation as we head into 2012. It would seem that, for farmers wanting good information to base their planting and marketing decisions upon, coming to the show on multiple days would pay.