AgroExpo 2019 Promotes Technology, Education, and Networking
ST JOHNS – On August 13 & 14, over 2700 attendees gathered at the fourth annual AgroExpo, the largest agriculture trade show in Michigan. Held at the North Central Research Station in St Johns, the two-day event provided agricultural demonstrations, speakers, and exhibits.
The show focused on providing resources for production farmers. The demonstrations on sprayers, remote soil testing operations, and drones exhibited the latest technology in agriculture. The speakers offered education on current issues like risk management, increasing yields, nutrition, insurance, and estate planning, and listeners were also able to receive CCA and RUP credits. The 130 vendors met with the attendees to highlight their products and services, as well as answer questions.
New this year was the addition of the FFA student competitions. The FFA Crop Management Challenge gave FFA students the chance to plant a plot, plan its growth, present it to the judges, and answer questions. The FFA Tractor Operators Contest featured students demonstrating their knowledge about zero-turn lawnmowers, standard lawnmowers, and a tractor with a trailer, and then maneuvering the machine through a narrow course.
Congratulations to winners Caleb Hackett (Centreville - 1), Micah Sprague (Durand - 2), Dakota Sutter (Chesaning - 3), Colton Schwartz (Centreville – 4), and Garrett Cook (Perry – 5) for the garden tractor competition, Tracy Slieff (Durand - 1), Travis Swift (Cedar Springs - 2), Garret Andrejack (Corunna - 3), Colby Shettler (Byron – 4), and Colin Munsell (Fowlerville – 5) for utility tractor, and Brian Frye (Byron - 1), Daniel Sprague (Durand - 2), and Jonathan Sayles (Bay-Arenac CC - 3), Marc Hendzel (Perry - 4), and Travis Swift (Cedar Springs - 5) for zero-turn. Crop Management Challenge results will be announced at the Great Lakes Crop Summit in January 2020.
“I really enjoyed having the FFA students here this year,” said Dale Ruff, AgroExpo Event Coordinator. “It was a great addition to the show to have first their crop competition, and also their driving competition. The attendees enjoyed watching them, too. Driving that equipment isn’t always as easy as it looks.”
Organizations like the IQhub and the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture provided educational opportunities for children attending the show. The booths featured hands-on activities for kids that were both farm and entertainment-focused.
The crowd of food trucks, the Ford, Chevrolet, and Ram truck test drive opportunities, the flyovers, and the general attitude of the attendees gave the entire show a jovial atmosphere.
“We’re already planning for next year,” said Burt Henry, AgroExpo Industry Relations and Promotions Manager. “We talked to the vendors and the attendees, and we’re always looking at how we can make it more valuable for everyone. We’re really thankful to everyone, including the sponsors, for making it great. With everyone’s input, next year it’s going to be even better.”
The 2020 AgroExpo is scheduled for August 11 & 12.
As for the farm, it's busy as always. Rain, harvest, things breaking, things getting fixed, heifers getting out, heifers being put back in and spoken to seriously for not listening about getting out, kids in school, construction projects, and action all the time!
It was one of the best summers of my life. I'm sad to see it go - but the excitement of fall is here, and all the fun to go along with that! Soon there will be more rain, harvest, things breaking, things getting fixed ... you get the point.
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