For years, the World Ag Expo has served as the largest annual agricultural exposition of its kind, and this year was not any different.
“From the locally-focused ag tours to the international attendees, World Ag Expo strives to live up to its name every year,” said Jerry Sinift, International Agri-Center’s chief executive officer. “Even as we grow and change, we remain grounded in the idea that agriculture is an invaluable asset to our communities and to the growing world. We’re here to be a consistent part of that through educational seminars and brining in quality exhibitors for serious buyers.”
Held at the International Agri-Center in Tulare County, the 48th annual World Ag Expo drew in approximately tens of thousands of visitors from 70 countries, approximately 1,500 exhibitors, and 2.6 million square feet of exhibition space.
During the three-day event, visitors examined the latest advances in the agriculture industry, including cutting-edge agricultural technology and equipment
“Agriculture in California didn’t become the renowned power house it is by standing still,” wrote California Department of Food and Agriculture secretary Karen Ross in a blog post. “It’s in the DNA of California farmers and ranchers to constantly innovate, embrace technology, and figure out new ways to do things better and more efficiently.”
“And that’s the importance of the World Ag Expo,” continued Ross. “It showcases the latest developments and brings farmers together to exchange ideas they can take back to their operations to continue to produce high quality California-grown agricultural products.”
Additionally, the exposition hosted upwards of 35 seminars in beef, dairy, hay and forage, international trade, irrigation, and generational agricultural categories.
This year held a number of new features as well, including a Farmers’ Lunch with former CDFA secretary AG Kawamura and a 2015 mobile app, which allowed attendees to view the latest updates, news, and information from the expo.
For the first time this year, high school students were also able to take part in guided school tours.
“To better serve our students in ag education, we developed a guided tour, so students would be learning while still enjoying World Ag Expo,” said Kerissa Chapman, IAC’s AgVenture’s and Ag Education Coordinator. “We are particularly focused on highlighting the many different careers in agriculture. The Central Valley is an incredibly diverse agricultural area. Educating students about that is a top priority for us.”
Scott Seargeant and Brian Keith, who submitted a video on behalf of Revolier Films, were also named this year’s video contest winners, with their effective response to this year’s theme: “Where Would We Be Without Farmers?”
“We hoped to get a variety of creative takes on the theme this year, and we were not disappointed,” said Sinift. “The different depictions submitted were a great way to raise awareness about the necessity of farmers, and the contributions they make to the world—day in and day out.”
In their video, Seargeant and Keith chose to feature a local farmer from Tulare and his wife, Scott and Anna Rogers, as they are thanked by strangers, friends, and family for their hard work.