Large turnout expected at expo

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers

More than 450 exhibitors of farm, ranch and dairy products and services are expected for the 13th annual New Mexico Ag Expo Feb. 22-23 in Portales.

Pat Willis of the Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce and an event organizer said once again there will be vendors from the west Texas and eastern New Mexico as well as across the United States.

Among the vendors are a Rhode Island company that specializes in dairy lagoon cleaning, technology and waste-water management and a Wyoming dealer that sells worn tractor tires cut in half used as livestock troughs for livestock.

“We have a good variety of vendors,” Willis said. “We’ve picked up a lot of good, new vendors.”

Willis said the Texas Longhorn Breeders of New Mexico vendor will have a live longhorn on display during the Expo. Willis said the quilting seminar and crafts should be another big draw this year again.

Seminars include animal identification and pesticide applications.

“The animal identification tag seminar applies not only to dairy producers, but beef producers,” Roosevelt County extension agent Floyd McAlister said. “The importance of the seminar is to trace the source of the origin so the problem (diseases) can be eliminated. Japan was a big beef importer of the United States, but it stopped importing during the mad cow disease scare.”

McAlister said the pesticide applicator seminars will be key to those who are private applicators so they can earn continuing education units. McAlister said once private applicators are certified they are required to earn five CEU units in five years.

Community Development Director Kim Huffman said two concerns, muddy ground and heating problems in buildings, have been addressed for this year’s Ag Expo.

“The county has done a lot of work to improve the fairgrounds,” Huffman said. “People will be able to see the latest in agricultural technology.”