By Tony Parra
The 13th Annual New Mexico Ag Expo organizers and more than 450 vendors said they enjoyed the turnout on Tuesday and Wednesday, which made the opportunity to create and maintain relationships with others involved in the agriculture industry.
“We would have liked to have more numbers, but it was still a good turnout,” Pat Willis, ag expo organizer, said. “It (expo) ran real smooth, the smoothest in the last three years. It (weather) was really good for us.”
Besides a few sprinkles on Wednesday, there was little precipitation during the expo and attendants enjoyed a sunny day on Tuesday.
Willis said there was not a system set up to keep track of attendance because the event was free and there was no ticket sales to help in the count. Willis said another problem with keeping attendance is that many people go in and out of the expo and would be counted twice or more.
The ag expo was an opportunity for business members to talk with their customer base, or create one.
“Our reputation is why we have been able to double in size over the last 10 years,” Johnny Jimenez, a foreman with Jimenez Custom Harvesting, Inc. of Clovis, said. “The ag expo gives us a chance to talk to our customers. We’ve been able to double in size because of the success of the dairy industry.”
Jan Newquist, a Dairy Max dietitian, said the expo is a great opportunity for the promotion agency to interact with dairy farmers. Newquist, whose office is located in Albuquerque, said interactions with dairy farmers from eastern New Mexico are limited.
The ag expo was also an opportunity for vendors who have only started attending.
Ken Valentine was in a booth representing his son and daughter-in-law’s business, Udderly Clean dairy towel cleaner. Employees wash dairy towels in commercial size washers using hot water and bleach. Valentine said the business is two years old, and the compnay has had a booth at the event for both years.
“We’ve been able to talk to mainly people from Roosevelt and Curry County,” Mickey Morgan, an Udderly Clean consultant, said. “The business has been doing well. We pick up 90,000 towels a day.”
For some Texas Longhorns, the ag expo in Portales was a journey from Folsom, located in the northeast corner of New Mexico, within 15 miles of the Colorado border. Fred and Marijo Balmer of the Texas Longhorn Breeders of New Mexico brought a few Texas Longhorns to the expo. One of the longhorns, named Real Beef, had a saddle on its back and gave rides to some of the attendees.