Make sure your rubber boots are in the pickup. It’s almost time for the “Tulare farm show.” Officially known as World Ag Expo, the 46th running of the agricultural event of the winter opens its three-day stretch Feb. 12 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, Calif.
• Feb. 12 & 13—9 a.m.-5 p.m.
• Feb. 14—9 a.m.-4 p.m.
• General Admission $12 @ Gate; $2 off advance purchase @ worldagexpo.com
• Discount Code: AGEXPO
The expo is once again sold out with 1,400 exhibitors shoehorned into 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space with 1,500 orange-jacketed volunteers on hand to orchestrate the event.
The sold out sign on the gate is “a strong indication of the health of California and American agriculture,” says this year’s show chairman, Joe Raney, a retired Tulare city firefighter.
Rainey was on hand for the first show in 1968 as a paramedic and has been involved ever since.
There are no country concerts this year. However, the popular Ag Warrior Benefit is back with Col. Oliver North headlining the Wednesday evening affair on the show grounds. Funds from this support veterans who want to pursue agricultural careers.
There is a new permanent building on the grounds. It is a 60,000-square foot insulated, cement floor steel span structure replacing the old Pavilion C tent in the northwest corner of the grounds. It was completed in January.
Visit Western Farm Press — Pavilion C, 3915. Someone will figuratively drive home from Tulare in a new Toyota pickup again this year. Valley FFA members will be selling raffle tickets at the show for the new pickup donated by San Joaquin Valley Toyota dealers. Proceeds benefit FFA members. The winner will be drawn Thursday afternoon.
There is another full lineup of seminars to be held at the Seminar Center in the far northeast corner of the grounds. Topics range from beef and dairy production to hay and forage market outlooks to irrigation design and international trade. A listing of seminars is available at worldagexpo.com and in the free show guide available at the gate each day.
• Wednesday Feb. 13
Starts 7 a.m.
• Wednesday Feb. 13
Ag Warrior Benefit
Starts 5 p.m.
Tickets start at $50
Available at worldagexpo.com
• Thursday Feb. 14
Ag Leadership Alumni Breakfast
Starts 6:30 a.m.
There is also a full line-up of farm tours each day. These include stops at dairies, the University of California veterinary center in Tulare, a citrus packing operation, wine tour, one of California’s large commercial nurseries and an efficient energy stop at a local dairy. Cost and time of tours are available under tickets on the World Ag Expo website.
Park and ride is back. There are five offsite parking locations in the Tulare and Visalia area where you can park and ride a bus to the show grounds. These include the Preferred Outlet Mall in Tulare, the Tulare airport, Tulare County fairgrounds, Mid-Valley Cotton Gin and the First Assembly of God Church in Visalia.
There will also be park and ride locations in Fresno and Clovis. Advance reservations are required. Call (559) 641-6789 to reserve a spot on the buses. There is a charge for the rides from Fresno and Clovis. There is no charge for the park and ride feature in the Tulare/Visalia area. For more details, go to worldagexpo.com.
Once again Western Farm Press is powering a World Ag Expo application for smartphones. Search for WAE 2013 app at your app store and with it you can plan your day at the show, receive daily alerts and breaking news, navigate the expo with interactive maps, view seminar schedules, download exhibitor information, connect with social media and check out local dining options.