MOULTRIE — Farm families looking to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the busy fall harvest season will soon get that chance. They are invited to attend the Sunbelt Ag Expo farm show to be held Oct. 20-22 near Moultrie, Ga.

“The Sunbelt Expo is an annual extravaganza of agricultural technology,” says Chip Blalock, the farm show’s director. “Now in its 32nd year, the Expo has become North America’s premier farm show. Our goal is to bring together more than 1,200 exhibitors and hundreds of thousands of visitors in our 100-acre exhibit area. One visit to the Expo saves you time, money, and effort, which in today’s economy, is a smart decision by any measure. In one day, you can evaluate models and brands that might not be readily available in your area through state of the art field machinery demonstrations, as well as view cutting-edge research practices and interactive educational exhibits. The Expo really offers the most efficient means of finding it all in one place at one time, said Blalock.”

In addition to gaining hands-on access to the newest and most innovative products on the market, attendees will also benefit from the multitude of free seminars and demonstrations featuring some of the agricultural industry’s top experts. This is a unique opportunity for the show’s attendees to gain additional insight into the present and future of the farming industry from renowned experts. The first annual Technology Innovations and Solutions seminars sponsored by Farm Press and hosted by Southern States Cooperative will highlight what is on the horizon for 2010 regarding seeds, crop protection, precision agriculture, fertilizer, and more. One of the seminars will cover herbicide-resistant pigweeds, a major new challenge for crop producers in the Southeast.

The farm show has also partnered with agricultural colleges and universities from throughout the Southeast to provide information from the latest agricultural research that could benefit farmers in the region.

The Expo will highlight North Carolina as the 2009 Spotlight State. Organizations from this state have put together an exciting exhibit themed, “Got To Be NC Agriculture”.

“The exhibit will be a great showcase of North Carolina agriculture and agribusiness,” said North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “And with so much interest in local foods, it’s a great way to learn more about all the delicious food and drinks produced in our state.”

One group of exhibits will feature portable sawmills and equipment used in forestry. Other exhibits will showcase irrigation equipment, livestock equipment, new pickups and all terrain vehicles. Software and hardware that allows for crop yield monitoring, automated tractor steering and variable-rate application of farm chemicals will also be featured in precision farming exhibits at the show.

While most of the exhibits are geared to the interests of commercial farmers, the Expo also provides family-friendly entertainment with events such as stockdog trials and antique tractor parades. The show’s hunting and fishing exhibitors will return with tips on bringing in wild game and catching trophy-size fish. Family Living exhibits will offer cooking demonstrations and displays by prominent regional artists Jack DeLoney and Floyd Gordon.

The exhibit area, featuring lawn and gardening machinery, will have a special attraction with a series of seminars geared to backyard gardening. A number of presenters will be giving tips and advice to gardeners. Information on organic vegetable gardens, tomato displays, drip irrigation and raised bed gardening will help consumers learn how to grow their own food safely and economically.

Once again Swisher International and the Sunbelt Expo will have the honor of saluting the agriculture community and industry with the Swisher Sweets / Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award.

Animal agriculture displays continue to expand each year at the Expo. You will be able to take in demonstrations, exhibits and seminars for beef cattle, equine, dairy, poultry and fish ponds. In recent years, horse and equine related activities have broadened to include a variety of horse and rider competitions. These live demonstrations, as well as static equipment displays, create a unique experience for horse enthusiasts of all walks, from commercial equine operations to hobbyists. The Expo’s long tradition of providing exhibits and educational programs offering money-making opportunities to the beef cattle farmers continues in 2009.

Visitors also have a chance to register for numerous giveaways. Be sure to register at locations throughout the show to win prizes including: Pickup truck from Chevy, Dodge or GMC, a Kitchen Craft Cookware set and a Massey Ferguson 2600 Lawn Tractor.

The Expo’s permanent home is Spence Field, a former airbase on 1,680 acres. The Expo is located four miles southeast of U.S. Hwy. 319 on Georgia Hwy. 133. Show hours are 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 8:30 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is $10 per person per day, with children ages 12 and under admitted free with a parent.

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