The Southern Farm Show continues to grow each year and the trend continues for the 2019 edition set for Wednesday, Jan. 30 to Friday, Feb. 1 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
With more than 400 exhibiting companies, the Southern Farm Show is the largest agricultural exposition in the Carolinas and Virginia. Due to increased demand for more exhibit space, an additional exhibit tent has been added for the 2019 show.
“We have a number of new exhibitors signed up for the 2019 show and we were running out of space. We worked with the staff of the Fairgrounds and found space for another tent to add to the four we had last year. It will be on the concrete patio in front of the Kerr Scott Building,” said Show Manager David Zimmerman.
The new tent will be heated and is quite large. “The five tents together provide more than 54,000 square feet of exhibit space. By comparison, that equals the exhibit area of the of the Exposition Center and Dorton Arena combined,” Zimmerman said.
The Southern Farm Show is the second largest event held each year at the Fairgrounds, second only to the North Carolina State Fair. All seven buildings on the grounds are used with additional heated temporary structures and outdoor exhibits utilized.
The show made its debut in 1967 in Atlanta. In 1978, the show moved to the state fairgrounds in Raleigh. Zimmerman said that in both good years and challenging years, attendance has been excellent.
“The show is something farmers look forward to every year,” he said.
And just as agriculture in the Carolinas and Virginia is diverse, the Southern Farm Show is diverse. Zimmerman notes that farmers in the region produce well over 80 different commodities and there are companies exhibiting at the event that serve producers of all these commodities as well as livestock and forestry.
“We’re seeing more forestry equipment exhibited every year. We have a number of new exhibitors showcasing land clearing equipment.” Zimmerman said.
The Southern Farm Show is designed to help farmers plan for the new crop year. Zimmerman said this is all the more important as many across the region saw a very challenging 2018.
“Commodity prices aren’t where we’d like them to be and many farmers were dealt a hard blow from Hurricane Florence. They’re looking forward to a better 2019, and I know all our exhibitors are looking forward to greeting their farmer customers and helping them plan and prosper for the new crop year,” Zimmerman said
“With low commodity prices, farmers are putting pencil to paper to decide what are the best crops to grow. There is no better place than the Southern Farm Show for them to get the ideas and information they need to make good decisions. Show exhibitors are there to help answer questions. There are also numerous educational sessions to help farmers plan,” he noted.
Exhibitors say they are looking forward to the 2019 show as well. Derick Livingston, who handles sales and marketing for Loflin Fabrication in Denton, N.C., said it is great venue for promoting their business each year. Loflin Fabrication makes and markets skid steer attachments and was founded in 1993 by Greg Loflin and Terry Ferrell.
Loflin Fabrication has participated in the show for 10 years and has grown from 600 square feet of exhibit space to 1,300 square feet in Dorton Arena. “We had to expand so we could show all our products,” Livingston said.
“The Southern Farm Show is where we introduce new products to our customers. Since the show is in February, it’s a great way to promote our products to customers at the beginning of the year,” he said. “It’s a great venue for customers to see our new products first hand,” Livingston says. “The show is good because customers can see our products up close and check them out in person. It makes a big difference to be able to touch a product rather than just seeing it online or in a catalog.”
Show hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Admission and parking is free. For more information, contact the Southern Farm Show at (800) 849-0248 or visit the show website at http://SouthernFarmShow.com.