Day two of the 45th annual World Ag Expo started with gray skies and much-needed rain, and ended with blue skies. In between, exhibitors enjoyed encouraging sales and strong attendance.
"We had more leads yesterday than in all three days of last year's show," says Mike Smith of Bejac Corp., and attendance mid-way through Wednesday was "excellent" says Juan Trujillo of Wilcox Agri-Products.
"This show is excellent," Trujillo adds. "We thought that, with the rain, the attendance might be down but so far it's actually better. We know that if they are here in bad weather, they are truly interested."
Australian Brett Stephan grows 2,000 acres of carrots and onions, an operation he says would be called "reasonably big" by Australian standards. What he found fascinating at World Ag Expo is how truly big everything in America is - from the machines to the food.
"This show is phenomenal ... fantastic! Everything is here. We are getting lots of new ideas and learning about different ways of ground preparation and different styles of farming," Stephan says. "We hope for purchases in the future because we are seeing products here that could be useful for us."
Corn, alfalfa and forage grower Rich Miller of Modesto says he likes seeing the equipment in person and talking directly with equipment representatives. He has attended World Ag Expo every year for the past 15 years and he, too, hopes to be making purchases.
Attendee Brent Mohn of Minnesota is a row crop farmer looking to expand the use of new technologies in their operation.
"We are specifically looking at how to maintain our cutting edge by using more scouting technology and how to utilize the iPad in scouting and record-keeping," Mohn says.
President George W. Bush spoke Wednesday night in the Entertainment Pavilion as the keynote speaker for the Ag Warriors program.
World Ag Expo continues Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The FFA Assembly featuring Michael Peterson will be held at 9:30 a.m. in the Entertainment Pavilion, and seminars are offered throughout the day on topics such as energy management solutions, dairy, beef and livestock and irrigation.