RALEIGH, N.C. — The Southern Farm Show returns to the NC State Fairgrounds February 1-3. The 45th edition of this annual event remains not only the largest agricultural exposition in the Carolinas and Virginia, but also the largest trade show of any type in the three states.
Farmers from across the region flock to the show each year for a chance to see the latest in farm equipment and speak with experts as they prepare for the coming growing season. They also come to attend meetings and educational sessions designed to help them be successful in the ever-changing agricultural world.
Groups holding their annual meetings at the show include the NC Growers Association, the NC Crop Improvement Association, and Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina. On opening day, the US Department of Agriculture will be holding workshops on participating in Farm Service Agency programs. Continuing education classes for pesticide license holders will also take place that morning. Thursday’s show highlight will be the annual AG Development Forum where NC Department of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will give his annual State of Agriculture address.
FFA students who come on Thursday for their annual Tractor and Truck Driving Competition will have an added reason to attend this year. The NC Department of Agriculture is teaming up with the NC Workforce Credentials to hold a Career Discovery Expo at the show. Students will be able to learn about agriculture-based job opportunities at the Expo, then tour the hands-on Be Pro Be Proud exhibit where they can virtually try out potential occupations.
While hundreds of companies at the show cater to agriculture, many are there to see the landscape, forestry and construction professionals who also attend. Most of the major landscape and construction equipment companies participate in the show, and this year, qualified show attendees will be able to try operating Kobelco excavators in a special demonstration area.
Other show features include a lumberjack show sponsored by STIHL, a chance to test drive Chevrolet trucks, and bluegrass entertainment provided the Farm Credit Associations of NC. The show wraps up on Friday evening with the Southern National Draft Horse Pull at the Hunt Horse Complex.
The Southern Farm Show runs February 1-3. Hours are 9 am to 4 pm on Wednesday and Thursday and 9 am to 3 pm on Friday. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact Southern Shows at (704) 494-7544 or visit www.SouthernFarmShow.com.
–David Zimmerman, Southern Farm Show