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February 18, 2020
A shiny, new New Holland rice harvester on display at the World Ag Expo.Todd Fitchette
Near-perfect weather and an excitement for new technology and industrial hemp drew a reported 106,357 attendees to a World Ag Expo affected in part by coronavirus fears and a few vendors who did not show because of that.
Nevertheless, the three-day exposition at the International Agricenter in Tulare, Calif. drew folks like American Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall and some attention to a focus on industrial hemp, though discussions with some growers suggest the jury is still out on the crop because so little is known about it. Seed genetics and markets are two of the major challenges of the fledgling industry legalized by the recent Farm Bill.
Always popular at the annual event is the availability of great food from a long list of non-profit organizations. Included on that list is the Sundale Elementary School booth that over three days served over 10,700 pounds of ribeye steaks as part of 22,000 sandwiches, according to Sundale School Principal Cindy Gist.
Associate Editor, Western Farm Press
Todd Fitchette, associate editor with Western Farm Press, spent much of his journalism career covering agriculture in California and the western United States. Aside from reporting about issues related to farm production, environmental regulations and legislative matters, he has extensive experience covering the dairy industry, western water issues and politics. His journalistic experience includes local daily and weekly newspapers, where he was recognized early in his career as an award-winning news photographer.
Fitchette is US Army veteran and a graduate of California State University, Chico.
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