You’ve heard the old song, “Georgia On My Mind”? Well that’s sort of the theme here. Heading to the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Ga., for my first time to the southern state with my colleagues and Ogden ad reps, Sheila and Denise (Mother Earth News & GRIT), we landed in Jacksonville, Fla. From there we took a few minutes to dip our toes in the ocean on the beach in Jacksonville then made our way to Moultrie, Ga.
The show was held October 19-21, 2010 at Spence Field with a 100 acre exhibit area adjoining a 600-acre working research farm. There were more than 1,200 commercial exhibitors. I heard the show brings in $16 million to the area. In addition to the static exhibits, visitors can attend educational, entertaining seminars and demonstrations in a variety of specialized areas. There were even aquaculture exhibits with fish filleting demos, pond management seminars and an expert angler on hand with fishing tips. (I loved the car)
I took the shuttle out to the field demos and got to watch various hay rakes and balers, cotton combines and peanut harvesting in action. Sure was different from the equipment I am used to seeing in Kansas!
Speaking of peanuts, we frequented the Peanut Growers booth and if you timed it just right, you could grab a hot, freshly grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich! And we tried all kinds of peanuts, from salted, in the shell, Cajun, spicy boiled, boiled. They even had peanut flour. (I kind of sound like Bubba talking about shrimp in Forrest Gump!)
There is a special area on the grounds to display antique tractors and an antique tractor parade during the show.
I saw Jerry Volk’s collection of antique ice cream freezers; he was featured in an article in the May 2009 Farm Collector.
I also met David King and Ashley Williamson of the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village of Tifton, who were displaying some items and running a gas engine on the grounds.
Many company representatives and specialists were in the fields and on site to answer questions. At the John Deere booth I got to visit with Steve Detrick and also Chris Boyens, who is the Heritage Marketing rep and is a familiar face at some of the regular antique tractor shows. They had a bale of cotton at their booth so Sheila and I couldn’t resist the photo op!
A funny sidenote: The girls and I couldn’t help noticing the tiny gnats flying around us and everyone else at the show, and it was quite the topic of discussion around there. Someone we talked to told us when he first came to the show he thought to himself, “everyone is so friendly, always waving…” Then he realized they were just waving away the gnats!
But the people are friendly too! Another show to put on your list to visit and enjoy Southern hospitality: the Sunbelt Ag Expo.