Ag Expo comes to close

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

The annual Ag Expo ended Wednesday with attendance slightly below last year, with icy road conditions the first day and a bleak economy.

Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sharon King said more than 3,000 attended, including 2,655 ticket holders and 450 vendors.

A year ago, the Expo attracted 3,700 attendees and 600 vendors.

“Tuesday was extremely slow,” King said. “Today we made up for it.”

King said a few vendors couldn’t make the show due to the weather.

“Everybody seemed to be doing good, they just didn’t make many sales, but they made some good contacts,” King said. “A lot of people might come out to price something, and then go elsewhere, and then come back. You never know what their motivation is for being here.”

Vendor Chuck Guetz with Comanche Creek Enterprises of Kiowa, Colo., said the turnout for the Expo was a little disappointing.

“All and all demographically it is a very good area for us to be in,” Guetz said. “I was just hoping to see more ranchers and farmers out this year than we actually had.”

This is the first time Comanche Creek participated in the Ag Expo. The company specializes in removal of burrowing rodents — gophers, prairie dogs and ground squirrels.

“Amarillo is the closest we’ve been and we had a lot of success there,” Guetz said. “We anticipated good success here and we’re likely to give it another chance even though we were disappointed. We were expecting more vendors here, and with more vendors, you will have more people out.”

King said the Expo was a success despite fewer vendors.

“With the economy like it is, we’re just glad they were here,” King said.

Another vendor at the Ag Expo, Craig Collins, foundation coordinator at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, said it was good.

“We had a couple of people who were interested in the programs that we offer,” Collins said. “I think the economy is such that people are either having a hard time getting a job and realizing they need a college education,” Collins said.