Initially four decades ago it was called Tulare Field and Row Crop Equipment Show” but quickly became the “California Farm Equipment Show for the second show in 1969.
In 1972, “And International Exposition was added to the title.
In 2001 it took on the grandiose title of World Ag Expo.
However, to San Joaquin Valley and California producers, it will always be the Tulare Show always held the second week of February.
This year the dates are Feb. 13-15 for what is billed as the world's largest agricultural exposition 2007. It's held in a former alfalfa field along side Highway 99 just south of Tulare, Calif.
This year the Expo will contain 1,600 exhibitors packed into 2.5 million square feet of exhibit space. It is expected to draw 100,000 attendees from 66 different countries. It's all made possible by the efforts of 1,200 “orange jacket” volunteers.
“We've come a long way. When this show started it was just a local event, and now we put together the biggest and best agricultural exposition in the world! The event brings exhibitors from around the world together with farmers and ranchers covering every aspect of agriculture production,” said Jerry Sinift, general manager of the International Agri-Center, home to World Ag Expo.
The first show attracted 157 exhibitors with 28,000 attendees. By the second year, the show doubled in both attendees and exhibitors, and continued to grow ever since.
Over the years one of the biggest draws to the show has been the weather, more specifically rainy weather. Show organizers have counted on bad weather during the second week of February to keep farmers out of the fields and get them to the show.
In recent years, that has not been the big wish because it is sunny weather than swells the attendance numbers. This year with one of the driest Januaries on record, rain and snow in the mountains would surely boost show visitors enthusiasm.
What also draws the crowds to Tulare include a pickup truck give away, farm tours, truck and tractor pulls, hands-on demonstrations, seminars and more.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Admission is $9, with 3-Day Passes available for $24. Tickets may be purchased at the gate or online (www.worldagexpo.com)