Wind, rain and a dismal weather forecast for what is typically the busiest day at the World Ag Expo all likely played a part in attendance that did not quite match last year’s figure, but nevertheless managed to exceed 100,000 for the three-day event in Tulare, Calif.
International Agri-Center Chief Executive Officer Jerry Sinift said his conversations with exhibitors suggested the lower attendance didn’t factor in the quality of business leads vendors seek at events like this.
The 2019 event marked the 52nd annual agricultural exposition, an event that this year brought NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine out to speak to the scientific advancements of space exploration, and how technologies developed for astronauts is improving the human condition around the globe while providing tools used by farmers.
Bridenstine highlighted various technological advancements developed or used by NASA, including methods to better predict how much water will come from the Sierra snowpack.
The expo was also marked by the naming of one of the permanent buildings on site for Corteva Agriscience in a six-year sponsorship deal with the International Agri-Center. Corteva Agriscience is the agricultural division of DowDupont.
Visitors to the event seemed to go with the flow of heavy rain on Thursday morning that sent torrents of water flowing towards storm drains on the show grounds and people scurrying for the protection of tents and buildings while the downpours lasted.