Federal budget issues, the farm bill, Waters of the U.S., and international trade — each year issues and events occur all around us, says Tim Price, executive director of the Southern Cotton Ginners Association and Foundation and manager of the 2018 Mid-South Farm and Gin Show.
“Often, the historic issues and events of one year are bested by historic events the next,” he says. “A few years ago, Mid-South farmers were dealing with many of the same issues as today. This year, however, the focus is somewhat different: Implementation of Waters of the U.S. has been stalled, the farm bill is still on radar screens, federal budget issues loom large, as do negotiations on trade agreements, especially NAFTA.
“The constant in all of this are the farmers and ranchers of the Mid-South, and nation, who continue to look forward and plan for the coming season, regardless of the events of the year they just closed out. For many, those plans include attending the Mid-South Farm and Gin Show, set for March 2-3 at the downtown Memphis Cook Convention Center, Memphis. It’s one of the first trade shows of the season.
“This show gives farmers and others in agriculture the opportunity to see first-hand the latest innovations available in equipment, products, and services,” says Price. “Despite the big picture topics, farmers deal with more granular issues, such as the mix of crops, and acreage needed to meet the demands of the coming year. “What will acreage look like in 2018? How will markets consume the crops produced in 2017? And what about commodity prices? These are all key issues that will be addressed at the show, among others.”
Attendees can learn from experts in these specific issues at the Ag Update educational seminars Friday, March 2, and Saturday, March 3, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Lobby Meeting Room of the convention center. Attendees can also hear from the incoming chairman of the National Cotton Council, as well as representatives of the rice and cotton industries who will present the market outlook and other issues for their commodities. Richard Brock, Brock Associates, will headline the Saturday Ag Update seminar.
In addition to face-to-face meetings with industry experts and representatives of companies exhibiting at the show, there will be information via the Farm and Gin Show mobile app and other technology platforms. An updated version of the mobile app will be available soon, featuring exhibit floor maps, schedules, links to social media platforms, speaker biographies, and other pertinent information. Those who download the app can also sign up to receive alerts for the latest available information about the show.
“There will also be daily cash prizes, prizes awarded by exhibitors, and, of course, the popular Friday and Saturday giveaways of Labrador puppies,” Price says. “The opportunity to win cash or other prizes is an added bonus to the three full floors of exhibits and displays, machinery and equipment — not to mention tasty food options like German Roasted Nuts and Corky’s BBQ — a family-friendly environment with something for everyone.”
Price encourages attendees to pre-register online by clicking the Attendee Registration button at the Farm and Gin Show website (www.farmandginshow.com), where they can complete the required information and get a confirmation that will allow a quick print-out of a name badge at the show.
“You can quickly scan your confirmation at a computer kiosk, and receive your name badge,” Price says. “This will save time ensure that your information is accurate. Staff will also be on hand to assist those who have pre-registered, as well as those who prefer to register onsite.”
Those who pre-register by Feb. 23 will be entered into an early $1,000 cash prize drawing.
Sponsored by Southern Cotton Ginners Association and Foundation and Delta Farm Press, the show annually attracts thousands of domestic and international decision-makers. Show attendees hail from every state in the nation and many foreign countries
Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m Friday and 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday. More information is available at http://www.farmandginshow.com/.