As farm show veterans can attest, one of the oldest questions about the annual World Ag Expo, held in Tulare, Calif. each February, is will it rain? With the current El Niño weather pattern, it just might be a good year to pack the boots and a poncho just in case.
The 49th annual World Ag Expo is right around the corner, Feb. 9-11, 2016, at the International Agri-Center (IAC) grounds in Tulare. As in years past, the event will serve up a heaping helping of the latest agricultural technology to help producers achieve greater efficiency in their farming operations.
“World Ag Expo is designed to help facilitate discussions between exhibitors, producers, and others about the latest innovations and opportunities available in agriculture today,” says IAC Chief Executive Officer Jerry Sinift.
The IAC sponsors the annual Expo event, the California Antique Farm Equipment Show, and is home to the AgVentures! Learning Center and the Antique Farm Equipment Museum.
World Ag Expo hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 9-10; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11.
Exhibit space for the 2016 Expo sold out in December. About 1,500 exhibitors will primed to showcase a wide array of cutting edge products and services on the 2.6 million square feet (80 acres) of outdoor and indoor exhibit space.
World Ag Expo is the world’s largest outdoor farm exposition show, which annually draws an estimated 100,000 people from about 50 countries.
Tickets now available
Tickets for World Ag Expo can be purchased at the gate for $15 per person day. Children under age six are admitted free. You can save $5 per general admission ticket when purchasing tickets online at www.worldagexpo.com/buy-tickets. Western Farm Press readers should enter the promo code ‘WFP’ in the ‘promo box’ to receive the ticket savings.
In charge of the army of 1,200 orange-vested World Ag Expo volunteers is Volunteer Chairman Charlie Pitigliano, a pistachio and almond farmer in the Tulare-Visalia area. These folks will be pumped and ready to answer questions, and help you have the most successful Expo experience possible.
Back for the 2016 show is the popular (and free) Equipment Showcase, facilitated by Ritchie Brothers. It will be held several times daily at the World Ag Expo Arena. Attendees can have a seat and see firsthand some of the latest innovations in farm equipment today.
Showcase days and times are Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:30, 12:00, 1:30, and 3:00. Thursday’s showcase hours are 10:30, 12:00, 1:00, and 2:00.
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Speaking of innovations, attendees will want to learn more about the products and companies which have won the 2016 World Ag Expo’s Top-10 New Products award during the show. The entries were elected chosen by a group of farmers, ranchers, and other industry professionals.
These days, who doesn’t have a mobile device? The 2016 World Ag Expo mobile app will be launched in late January for Android and Apple products.
Mark the ticketed Prayer Breakfast on the calendar for Wednesday at 7 a.m. in the VIP Event Tent. Fresno County dairymen and grape grower Dan Sousa from the Central Valley and Paso Robles areas will provide insight on the topic “Living Water for Soul and Soil.” Call (559) 685-6100 for more information.
After-Hours Party in the Arena
Later Wednesday afternoon, the Budweiser After-Hours Concert held in the World Ag Expo Arena will feature Nashville, Tenn. country music singer, songwriter, and producer Jonathan “Jon” Pardi - www.jonpardi.com. A native of Dixon, Calif., Pardi is perhaps best known for his hit song ‘Up All Night’ from his album by the same title released in 2014.
The Capitol Nashville record label musician has one extended play called ‘The B-Sides’ and five singles – Missin’ You Crazy, Up All Night, What I Can’t Pull Down, When I’ve Been Drinkin’, and Head Over Boots.
The party begins at 4:30 p.m. with the free concert to start at 5:30 p.m.
The California Ag Leadership Foundation Alumni Breakfast is Thursday at 7 a.m., featuring Mark Schultz, world champion wrestler and best-selling author. Shultz’s New York Times bestseller inspired the five-time Oscar-nominated feature film, Foxcatcher, starring Channing Tatum as Mark.
The CALF breakfast location is the Banquet Hall in the Heritage Complex. More information is available at (559) 735-9700 and email@example.com.
On the seminar side, World Ag Expo will include 50 free seminars held at the Seminar Center during the three-day farm show. Topics will focus on dairy, irrigation, education, general agriculture, and international issues. The seminars are free to attend with your paid Expo admission.
Park & Ride
Need a place to park? Free Park & Ride services will be similar to those offered in previous years. Attendees can park at the Tulare Outlet Mall and the Tulare County Fairgrounds in Tulare for a courtesy bus ride to the show grounds. The service is available Tuesday through Thursday from 7 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Thursday from 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.
A park & ride service from Fresno-Clovis area to World Ag Expo is available for a fee. Reservations are required. Call (559) 641-6789.
Interested in winning a free new truck? World Ag Expo attendees can purchase $5 raffle tickets for a chance to win a free 2016 Toyota Tundra. Raffle proceeds will benefit the Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno, Calif. The truck drawing is Thursday at the Toyota exhibit at World Ag Expo.
World Ag Expo is once again offering local agricultural tours that include lunch. Here is a brief list to help you consider a tour.
Ag Tour #2: Visalia Dairy Tour - The Elkhorn and Milky Way dairies highlight technology and state-of-the-art facilities used by California dairies.
Ag Tour #3: Citrus Groves and Historic Exeter Tour - A visit to Jim and Stacy Morcom’s citrus groves and orchards, plus a tour of the historic town of Exeter.
Ag Tour #4: Yribarren Winery and Orchards Tour – Enjoy a boutique wine tasting experience at Yribaren Vineyards. Visit the Central California Almond Growers Association to learn how almonds are processed.
Ag Tour #5: Citrus Tour - Visit the University of California Lindcove Research & Extension Center, McKellar Family Farms, and Monrovia Nursery.
Ag Tour #6: Wonderful Citrus and J.D. Heiskell Mill Tour - The Wonderful Citrus tour is a guided walking tour through a Wonderful Halos packinghouse in Delano. Attendees will also visit the J.D. Heiskell & Co. feed mill in Pixley.
For more information on the farm tours, go online to www.WorldAgExpo.com/ag-tours.
The main World Ag Expo website address is www.WorldAgExpo.org.