By Tony Parra
The 13th Annual Agriculture Expo, highlighting eastern New Mexico and west Texas’s agricultural industry, is set to have more than 450 exhibitors of farm, ranch and dairy products and services.
Pat Willis of the Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce and an Ag Expo organizer said once again there will be many vendors from the west Texas and eastern New Mexico, but many people are traveling from across the United States.
Bill Donohue of Pro-Act Microbial from Portsmouth, R.I., for example will have a booth at the expo. The company specializes in dairy lagoon cleaning, technology and waste-water management.
Willis there are other vendors from California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Utah, Wyoming and Illinois. Willis said Beth Reilly, from Alva, Wyo., who represents Giant Rubber Water Tanks had a booth last year and will have one again this year. Her company sells worn, tractor tires cut in half used as troughs for their livestock. Alva is located in the northeastern corner of Wyoming.
“We have a good variety of vendors,” Willis said. “We’ve picked up a lot of good, new vendors.”
Willis said the Texas Longhorn Breeders of New Mexico vendor will have a live longhorn on display during the expo. Willis said the quilting seminar and crafts should be another big draw this year again.
Some of the other showcases to bring in crowds is the horsemanship conducted by Jinita Hays a Pat Parelli instructor. Floyd McAlister, Roosevelt County Extension agent, said the horsemanship seminar has been held most years at the Ag Expo.
Other seminars will be the animal identification tag seminar and pesticide applicator seminar.
“The animal identification tag seminar applies not only to dairy producers, but beef producers,” McAlister said. “The importance of the seminar is to trace the source of the origin so the problem (diseases) can be eliminated. Japan was a big beef importer of the United States, but it stopped importing during the mad cow disease scare.”
McAlister said the pesticide applicator seminars will be key to those who are private applicators so they can earn continuing education units. McAlister said once private applicators are certified they are required to earn five CEU units in five years.
This will be the first Ag Expo to take place since the midway was chipsealed. Last year, snowfall shortly before the expo caused for muddy conditions in the midway of the fairgrounds. The midway was chipsealed last summer.
Community Development Director Kim Huffman said two concerns, muddy ground and heating problems in buildings, have been addressed for this year’s Ag Expo.
“The county has done a lot of work to improve the fairgrounds,” Huffman said. “People will be able to see the latest in agricultural technology.”
The 13th Annual Ag Expo will kickoff with a banquet at 7 p.m. on Feb. 21 in the Ballroom of the Campus Union Building on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door and they can be purchased through the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce at 356-8541.
Trent Loos will be the guest speaker at the banquet. He is a speaker, writer and radio and television personality. Loos is a six-generation farmer from Quincy, Ill. Loos and his wife, Kelli Loos founded the ‘Faces and Agriculture’ in 2003. The non-profit organization informs consumers of the agriculture business. The KSEL radio station in Portales airs his show, ‘Loos Tails’. The radio talk show has three million listeners on 100 radio stations, according to a press release from the Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce.
Attendants can also register to win a red 16-foot stock trailer during the Ag Expo.