Delta Ag Expo sets milestone
by Rory Doyle
Jan 02, 2013 | 1944 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The local agriculture industry, the Delta's economic backbone, celebrates a milestone this year with the 40th annual Delta Ag Expo to be held at the Bolivar County Expo Center in Cleveland.

On Jan. 16 and 17, over 100 agriculture-related exhibitors will be on hand to promote the latest trends.

The Mississippi State University Extension Service and research specialists will also be on site to answer production questions for the upcoming crop year.

Don Respess, event spokesperson and director of the Coahoma County Extension Service, said sharing information is the expo's main goal.

"The Extension uses the expo to get out the newest information from researchers and to help keep farmers up to date," said Respess. "It also kicks off the beginning of the farming season."

Admission is free with the hours of operation from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and 8:30 a.m.-noon on Thursday.

Educational seminars will include: On Target Application Academy, irrigation management in the Delta, marketing and economics, update on the Farm Bill and cost of production in 2013, and roundtable discussions on peanuts, soybeans, corn, small grains, rice and cotton.

According to Respess, close to 75 percent of jobs in the Delta are related to agriculture in some fashion.

"This is why we expect a good turnout this year and encourage everyone to come out and support the industry that's extremely important to the local economy," added Respess.

Judson Thigpen, executive director of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, also reflected on the significant homegrown impact.

"The expo just goes to show the importance of agriculture in the Delta," Thigpen said. "As much as we like to talk about our downtown, agriculture remains the biggest economic boost in the area.

"I also think it's great anytime we have big events that draw large crowds of people to Cleveland. It's a big plus for the community when we have extra people to eat in our restaurants, stay in our hotels and see our great town."

The event is co-sponsored by the Delta Ag Expo Corporation and Mississippi State University Extension Service.

For more information, contact Respess, at 662-624-3070 or respess@ext.msstate.edu.