Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Marketer's Take on World Ag Expo 2013 | by Kelly Cox

Well, another year of the World Ag Expo has come and gone.  As I get older and have now entered my "late 20s" (as my sister so eloquently put it), time seems to go by faster than it used to - which, I've found out, is normal!

Each year, the World Ag Expo is held in Tulare, CA, about 46 miles south of Fresno.  Like many other shows we've attended in the past several months, the attendance was staggering - a total of 100,000 people walked through the gates between February 12th and 14th.

This year, the Valley Irrigation booth had, for the first time, sod, and it was fantastic all around!  Not only did it dress up our booth, but also did it provide much-needed comfort for our backs and feet.  Along with the sod, we displayed several Valley products, including the DropSpan™, CableGuard™, 8000 center pivot, TouchPro™ control panel, and Valley VRI.  The guys from Valley Water Management and CES were also there, answering questions on their products and services.

We had steady traffic in our booth throughout the show, and we were certainly glad to have our dealers Valley Irrigation Service out of Madera, CA, and Durham Pump from Durham, CA, along with us for the ride to help answer questions and keep the booth running smoothly!  For the first time since I started to attend this trade show, a lot of vacationers from around the USA and beyond attended the show and stopped by to say "Hello."

Valley Product Manager John Kastl gave a presentation on the Valley DropSpan during the Hay and Forage Seminar on Tuesday morning (great job, John!).  The DropSpan allows you to irrigate more land that you already own by detaching the outer spans of a center pivot to irrigate near an in-field obstruction (like a building).  Director of Research and Development Jake LaRue also spoke during the show for the Irrigation Association Seminars; Jake presented on using center pivots for chemigation (great job to you, too, Jake!).

Top 3 Things I Learned at World Ag Expo in 2013:
  1. If you like peaches, visit the Cowboy Peach Cobbler booth.  They cook the cobbler in cast iron pots using only hot coals as the heat source.  Quite amazing to see!
  2. If a person is wearing a black shirt and khakis, they are a booth staffer at the show - doesn't matter for what company!  Seems to have become the universal trade show uniform or something...
  3. Visit the Bari Olive Oil Company booth for infused oils and vinegar.  Good stuff.  And, you can take some home with you!

The World Ag Expo is scheduled for February 11- 13, 2014.  See you next year in Tulare!