Organizers say they’re pleased with Ag Expo turnout

Freedom New Mexico: Argen Duncan John Baker of Friona carries his Australian kelpie puppy into the ring during the working dog clinic Wednesday at the New Mexico Ag Expo at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds. Baker said he comes to the expo every year.

Argen Duncan

The New Mexico Ag Expo ended Wednesday with an average attendance, good weather and organizers pleased with the outcome.

The 19th annual expo brought 130 booths, indoors and out, from about 110 vendors to Roosevelt County Fairgrounds, Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karl Terry said.

About 1,300 people came Tuesday. Wednesday afternoon, Terry said he didn’t have final numbers but was expecting a few more attendees that day because of the dairy events.

“It hasn’t been a slam crowd; it’s been a steady flow,” he said.

Terry attributed the steady flow to the good weather, which he said was a particular blessing this year.

Attendance was average, but vendors numbers were low, he said.

John Baker of Friona said he comes to the expo every year. This year, he brought two 3-month-old Australian kelpie puppies to the working dog clinic as well as taking in the rest of the event.

“It’s always a pretty nice time to come over,” he said.

Baker said the event seemed about half as big as last year.

Skip Meyer of Schaefer dairy fans and ventilation company said the expo had been slow for him. Meyer, who came from Tucson, said he’d seen a lot of people but not many who were interested in his product.

“It’s a nice local show,” he said.

Portales resident Joy Levacy of Levacy Sprinkler Inc. said her time at the expo was wonderful. She said she can’t tell if a sale comes from a meeting at the event, but making contacts and visiting with people is nice.

Terry said the expo had a “super” group of vendors.

“They’ve all been very easy to get along with, and I’m hearing very good things,” he said.

As for the educational programs, Ag Expo committee chairman Patrick Kircher said they went well.

“Everything we did this year had a great turnout,” he said, adding that programs had good discussions and questions.

Kircher and Terry both said they were looking forward to using the new special events arena the county is putting at the fairgrounds for the 20th anniversary Ag Expo next year.

“We’re just really excited about the new building and the opportunities it’s going to bring us,” Kircher said.

He hopes the building will bring back the community and vendors.

Terry said the large building will allow all or most of the vendors to be under one roof, and the outdoor booths could come inside in case of bad weather. It would also free up the Idsinga Pavilion to be used for programs, he said.

Terry plans to try new things with the expo next year while keeping the same charm.