Moultrie Observer

Local News

October 15, 2012

Alabama in the Expo spotlight

MOULTRIE — Lynyrd Skynyrd said, “Turn it up.” — and that’s exactly what Alabama, the 2012 Sunbelt Expo’s Spotlight State, is doing this year with its modern displays, interactive stations and Trent McFarland of Hope Hull, Ala., a professional rodeo clown and entertainer.

The original concept for the Expo’s Annual Spotlight State came from Alabama’s Mike Sprott, who was director of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System from 1975-1980.

This is Alabama’s fourth year as a Spotlight State in the Expo’s 34-year history and, even though the displays will be kicked-up, they serve to remind Expo-goers of its theme: “Alabama Agriculture — Well Grounded.”

Alabama Farmers Federation Executive Director Paul Pinyan said this theme represents the state’s well-groundedness in several areas including their history, productivity, stewardship and technology. He also said the state was well-grounded in its variety of products from catfish and poultry to row-crops and forestry.

“So it’s very diversified,” he added.

Pinyan said productivity would be showcased in a colorful, fun way with their famous “Catfish Car,” which will sit in front of the entrance of the tent, along with a giant sod replica of Alabama, which only has to be mowed every three weeks, he teased.

“We are one of the top producers of catfish and eighth in beef cattle production,” he said.

He said, as far as being well-grounded in stewardship, Alabama’s farmers were environmentally conscious. Technology will be illustrated, not only with flat-screen televisions acting as revolving billboards that will feature agricultural scenes and educational facts, but also with a green screen photography display that will encourage participation from folks and a dirt track with remote control John Deere tractors for visitors to play with. Those who have their picture taken on one of the fun backgrounds at the green screen display can have it emailed to them so they can immediately share it on Face Book or Twitter, Pinyan said. He hopes this will encourage more people to come to the Alabama tent to learn about the state.

He said Alabama’s variety of products will also be showcased in the tent with samples from the Alabama Grocers Association including Milo’s Famous Tea, Golden Flake, Red Diamond and Wickles Pickles.

“Everything we showcase is Alabama grown. Agriculture is our number one industry,” he said.

The Alabama Spotlight State Ribbon cutting will be at 10:20 a.m., today.


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