What’s Cooking at the Sunbelt Ag Expo!

What’s Cooking at the Sunbelt Ag Expo!

One thing is for sure when you visit this year’s Sunbelt Ag Expo, you will not leave hungry! With everything from catfish to peanut brittle, you will get to experience Georgia’s #1 industry like never before. Cooking demonstrations hosted by regional chefs will be held every day all throughout the grounds.

Two main stages which will be hosting cooking demonstrations throughout the day include the Georgia Grown Marketplace cooking stage and the Georgia Ag/Georgia Farm Bureau cooking stage. The Georgia Grown stage will focus on family living, and the Georgia Ag/Georgia Farm Bureau building will have their visitors talking with members of the Georgia Department of Agriculture staff. Feel free to gather great recipes and cooking tips from our own Georgia Grown chefs.

On the Georgia Grown Marketplace stage you will find Parker Farms, Stripling’s General Store, Oliver Farms, and rising country music star, Hannah Dasher. After watching these demos, cooking dinner for your family will sound a little more exciting. You will learn how to work with a Ribeye Loin, make Skinny Chocolate Dipping Sauce and Zucchini Hash! Hannah Dasher may even give you a couple of singing tips along the way through her series, “Stand by your Pan.”

At the Georgia Ag/Georgia Farm Bureau stage Executive Chef Holly Chute and Chef Olivia Rader will team up to showcase some of Georgia Grown’s best featured recipes including, Peanut Butter Sweet Potatoes, Cheesy Collard Green Dip, and Peanut Butter & Jelly Ice Cream Cupcakes.

Even though these are our two main stages, we still have many other cooking demonstrations going on throughout the week. Each day on the south-end of the expo grounds you can enjoy “Fantastic U.S. Farm Raised Catfish Cooking Demonstration with Chef Chris Wilton” as well as “Easy, Safe, and Delicious U.S. Farm Raised Catfish with UGA Extension.” Our Backyard Garden with Flint River Fresh will also be with us each day beginning with the basics and covering all types of gardens so that you can learn how to grow your own ingredients!

No matter if you are at the expo only for the day or all week long, make sure you come with an empty belly and ready to try some of the best from Georgia’s own.

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Get Ready to Engage at the Expo!

Get Ready to Engage at the Expo!

Hands-on learning experiences encompass the grounds of Spence Field during the Sunbelt Expo. Whether you are a farmer with a small operation or a teacher with a bus full of students, the expo has fun learning experiences for all. These interactive demonstrations will ignite your interests in industries and aspects of agriculture that you may not have seen before.

PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY
It’s peanut butter and jelly time for the Georgia Peanut Commission. Stop by to try tasty grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These sandwiches are a crowd favorite. The peanut butter is made from Georgia peanuts. From boiled to roasted, peanuts are a recognizable Georgia specialty. Interesting fact: peanuts are legumes and fruit below ground! While you try your PB&J, the Georgia Peanut Commission will have informational materials available about this staple Georgia commodity.

FRIED CATFISH
Chef Chris Wilton of Wilson Catering in Loachapoka, Alabama will be cooking up fried catfish over at the Aquaculture building. The farm-raised U.S. catfish is a southern delight. Snack on samples of catfish as you watch and listen to Chef Wilton. This opportunity is a must for catfish lovers and curious individuals alike!

HAY DEMOS
Operating on a schedule throughout the Sunbelt Expo, visitors can see equipment in action as a part of the field demonstrations. Catch a ride to the demos on one of the trams located at the Tram Station. Trams depart the station 15 minutes ahead of the demonstration time. Witness the tedding, cutting, raking, or baling of hay depending on which time you attend. Farmers looking to invest in new equipment can get a firsthand look, and visitors curious about the hay industry can watch the processes. In addition to hay demonstrations, the other field demos include cotton harvesting, peanut harvesting, and tillage demos.

STOCK DOG TRIALS
Located right next to the tram station are the famous stock dog trials! With origins in the United Kingdom, stock trials date back to the 19th century. Preparing for the trials means long hours of preparation for both the handlers and dogs. The stock dogs trials at the expo mainly feature Border Collies. The skilled dogs are bred to herd livestock and respond to commands. Grab your spot on the bleachers, and let the trials begin!

MOBILE DAIRY
The Georgia Mobile Dairy Classroom features a fully operational milking parlor with a live cow. The mobile dairy is sponsored by the Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk. Mrs. Nicole Karstedt engages, informs and entertains her audience as she explains milking and processing. To increase agricultural literacy in the dairy industry, the mobile dairy promotes the dairy industry through demonstrations.

WELDING
The American Welding Society (AWS) presents a mobile welding lab. The organization focuses on inspiring the next generation through hands-on learning experiences. AWS uses virtual reality welding simulators by Lincoln Electric. The trailer includes five machines for visitors to practice on. With virtual welding machines, those newly interested in the trade can experience the feel of welding without fear or danger. The machines give feedback to users and include various levels of difficulty. Since welding is a skilled trade that requires hours of practice, this can be the first step in sparking interest.

GEORGIA AG EXPERIENCE
This unique experience is a 36-foot mobile classroom that showcases Georgia Agriculture on-the-road. The GA Ag Experience, powered by the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture, uses technology and digital learning so students can take a deep dive into seven different Georgia agricultural commodities. The mobile classroom will be located just outside of the GA Ag / GA Farm Bureau Building at the Main Gate during the Sunbelt Ag Expo.

The experiences are presented by vendors and exhibitors at the Sunbelt Expo. In addition to these opportunities, there are countless more ways to be entertained during your time at the Expo. Visit somewhere that sparks your interest, and you might get a sample of catfish or a chance to watch stock dogs!

Equipment Unveiling at Expo

Equipment Unveiling at Expo

With a mission of featuring the latest technology available on the market, the Expo is excited to host John Deere as a returning vendor.  This year, the company will bring for the first time to the North American market the new CP770 cotton picker, as part of the company’s third generation of round-bale cotton harvesters.

“We are honored to host the first public unveiling of the John Deere CP770 cotton picker in the field demos at the 43rd Sunbelt Ag Expo. We have always prided ourselves on showing the latest technology that the marketplace has to offer to enhance our farmers’ economic and environmental sustainability,” said Chip Blalock, Sunbelt Expo executive director.

The John Deere 690 was introduced to the market in 2015 as an update to the John Deere 7760, which a decade ago changed on-the-go harvest and ginning with its round modules.

In a recent press release, Christopher Murray, John Deere product marketing manager, said the new 770s are more than an update. The project started four years ago and included direct input from growers across the U.S. cotton belt, including in the Southeast, Midsouth and Southwest, along with global customers, such as in Australia.

The results are two cotton harvesters, he said, 75% all-new from the ground-up with a platform John Deere can use for many years.  The CP770 has the new John Deere PRO16 HS Row Unit, fitted with high-speed stalk lifters and ‘ultra-fast’ cotton-grabbing spindles, and it makes round modules 2% larger and 5% more dense than its predecessor. Once it collects the cotton, the CP770 can wrap and eject a module in just over 30 seconds.

If you want to see the latest cotton picker available, be sure to visit this year’s Expo, October 19-21.  Purchase your tickets online at sunbeltexpo.com.  We can’t wait for you to be with us!

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Are You Ready? We Can’t Wait to See You at Expo!

Are You Ready? We Can’t Wait to See You at Expo!

The Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition will celebrate its 43rd Anniversary show October 19-21, 2021. Over 1,200 exhibitors will display and demonstrate products and welcome thousands of visitors to the 100 acre show site.

Crowned as North America’s Premier Farm Show ® and the largest Farm Show in America with field demonstrations, the Sunbelt Ag Expo brings together all segments of agribusiness including farmers, educators, policy-makers, ag-enthusiasts and families.  All attending the show will see the latest innovation and technology that the agriculture industry has to offer.

A highlight of the show is the naming of the Swisher Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year.  After an intensive judging process, ten state winners attend the show to learn who will be selected as the overall winner.

Also, the 2021 Sunbelt Expo will be the site of John Deere’s first public unveiling of the new CP770 cotton picker for the North American market as part of the company’s third generation of round-bale cotton harvesters.

Education is the key component of the show with over 300 seminars and demonstrations offered over the 3-day event.  These seminars and demonstrations are taught in exhibit areas for beef, dairy, poultry, forestry, pond management, equine and cattle management.  Farmers and ranchers attending gain beneficial knowledge on the latest in cutting edge techniques from industry leaders and university specialists.  The Expo works with 21 different education sponsors to host a strong seminar and demo schedule.  These education sponsors include major universities and colleges with six of these having permanent exhibit buildings on-site.   The Expo will feature Youth Educational Challenges sponsored by Country Financial for 6th-12th graders as a competitive and fun opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge in five different content areas.  Additionally, an Ag Mechanics contest sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Georgia will be offered for students. New this year, the Advocacy in Action contest sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau will be held for high school and college students with a particular interest in ag policy, law, and communication.

The Sustainable Living Area focuses on topics for the specialty gardener.  Flint River Fresh, created by the Flint River Soil & Water Conservation District (FRSWCD) and run by Frenando Jackson, “Farmer Fredo,” will organize the display that attracts hobby gardeners and enthusiasts alike.   A bounty of information on gardening tips, tools and more will be offered in the Georgia Metals Pavilion and in the demonstration garden.

A crowd pleaser is the 600-acre research farm’s field demonstrations. These demos showcase harvesting and tillage equipment for cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans and hay. As in the past, cotton will be harvested during the show!  In addition, hay demos will include all facets of hay harvesting from cutting to baling and will provide visitors the opportunity to see 80 different types of hay harvesting equipment run in a true farm setting.

Expo is honored to have Virginia as the 2021 Spotlight State.  Be sure to visit the spotlight building to experience Virginia agriculture…where it all began!

Chevrolet, a nine-year partner of Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition, will feature the Chevy Truck Tour with multiple consumer engagement stations and on-site product staff. The stations will highlight the versatility of Silverado, including capability, technology, and design. Engagements include a live demonstration that proves the strength and durability of the Silverado’s Durabed and a casting challenge.”

The Expo always features an array of aromas compliments of the delicious food sold within the grounds during the show.  In addition, many demonstration areas, including the Georgia Ag Building, the Aquaponics display, the Georgia Peanut Commission building and the Georgia Grown Marketplace within the Family Living Building, host segments throughout the day with chefs and food enthusiasts alike.  Be sure to stop by for a sample of some scrumptious treats.

There’s never a dull moment during the 3-day show and attendees will find there is something for the entire family.  There is a daily rolling Antique Tractor Parade, the American Grand Finals Stock Dog Trials (the largest field of competition in recent Expo history), and even a Cow Milking Contest. Add in rural lifestyle fun, truck, tractor and ATV test drives, and the venue is perfect for rural enthusiasts.

Chip Blalock, Show Director, says, “The Sunbelt Expo is an unbelievable showcase of rural living blanketed with agriculture’s newest ideas and technologies. It’s 3-days of fun, education and dreaming about agriculture’s future as we team together to feed, clothe and house a growing population around the world.”

The Sunbelt Ag Expo is open Tuesday through Thursday, October 19-21, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 (T,W) and 4:00 (Th).  Admission at the gate is $10 per person per day. Advanced and discount tickets can be purchased online beginning August 1.  The Show site is four miles southeast of Moultrie, GA on Hwy 133. For more information, see the show website at sunbeltexpo.com.

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Sunbelt and Swisher Celebrate Farmers of the Year

Last week brought about the long-anticipated 2021 Swisher / Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year judging tour.  State winners were selected in 2020, but due to the postponement of last year’s tour, these winners will be honored at the 2021 Sunbelt Ag Expo.

Since its inception in 1990, the Swisher / Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award has evolved into the most prestigious honor in the southeast and nation with 265 outstanding agribusiness leaders being honored for their “excellence in agriculture.” Ten states participate in the program: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In the previous 30 years of the award, Swisher Sweets has awarded over $1,204,000 to the state and overall winners. Each state winner receives $2,500 in cash and an expense-paid trip to the Sunbelt Ag Expo from Swisher. A Columbia vest from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply is given to each state winner and nominator.  Additionally, Syngenta donates $500 to each state winner’s charity of choice and Massey Ferguson North America provides each winner with a gift package. The overall Southeastern winner receives an additional $15,000 from Swisher.  Other prizes for the overall winner include use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year or up to 250 hours (whichever comes first) from Massey Ferguson North America, a Columbia jacket from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply, a Hays LTI Smoker/Grill, and a Henry Repeating Arms American Farmer Tribute Edition .22 rifle from Reinke Irrigation.

This year’s state winners are:

Alabama – Thomas Ellis

Arkansas – Jamie Anderson

Florida – Raymond R. “Rick” Roth, Jr.

Georgia – Samuel L. Nunn

Kentucky – Stephen J. Kelley

Mississippi – Joe Edmondson

North Carolina – James L. Lamb

South Carolina – Robert “Bob” Martin Hall

Tennessee – Jay Yeargin

Virginia – Charles Edwin Isbell, Jr.

To learn more about these and past winners, visit sunbeltexpo.com/foty.  The 2021 Swisher / Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Winner will be announced at the 43rd Annual Willie B. Withers Sunbelt Ag Expo Luncheon on October 19th. We can’t wait to see you at Expo.

Sunbelt and Swisher Celebrate Farmers of the Year

Last week brought about the long-anticipated 2021 Swisher / Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year judging tour.  State winners were selected in 2020, but due to the postponement of last year’s tour, these winners will be honored at the 2021 Sunbelt Ag Expo

Since its inception in 1990, the Swisher / Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Award has evolved into the most prestigious honor in the southeast and nation with 265 outstanding agribusiness leaders being honored for their “excellence in agriculture.” Ten states participate in the program: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. In the previous 30 years of the award, Swisher has awarded over $1,204,000 to the state and overall winners. Each state winner receives $2,500 in cash and an expense-paid trip to the Sunbelt Ag Expo from Swisher. A Columbia vest from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply is given to each state winner and nominator.  Additionally, Syngenta donates $500 to each state winner’s charity of choice and Massey Ferguson North America provides each winner with a gift package. The overall Southeastern winner receives an additional $15,000 from Swisher.  Other prizes for the overall winner include use of a Massey Ferguson tractor for a year or up to 250 hours (whichever comes first) from Massey Ferguson North America,  a Columbia jacket from Ivey’s Outdoor and Farm Supply, a Hays LTI Smoker/Grill, and a Henry Repeating Arms American Farmer Tribute Edition .22 rifle from Reinke Irrigation.

This year’s state winners are:

Alabama – Thomas Ellis

Arkansas – Jamie Anderson

Florida – Raymond R. “Rick” Roth, Jr.

Georgia – Samuel L. Nunn

Kentucky – Stephen J. Kelley

Mississippi – Joe Edmondson

North Carolina – James L. Lamb

South Carolina – Robert “Bob” Martin Hall

Tennessee – Jay Yeargin

Virginia – Charles Edwin Isbell, Jr.

To learn more about these and past winners, visit sunbeltexpo.com/foty The 2021 Swisher / Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year Winner will be announced at the 43rd Annual Willie B. Withers Sunbelt Ag Expo Luncheon on October 19th. We can’t wait to see you at Expo.

Opportunities for Youth at Expo

While the Sunbelt Ag Expo serves as a central hub during the third week of October for those in the agricultural industry to conduct business, it also serves as a place for students and young adults with a particular interest in the field of study to learn from the leaders in the industry.  Aside from seeing equipment work on the research farm, visiting with agribusiness companies, and gandering at the livestock on site, young people have the opportunity to visit with some of the many colleges and universities that are set up in their permanent spaces at the Expo.  In addition, students can earn cash prizes for competing in three different Youth Educational Opportunities offered during the show.

  1. The Advocacy in Action Contest sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau is for high school and college students.  This team event challenges teams to create a video based on a presented topic.  Teams submit videos prior to the Expo. Finalists then attend the Expo to participate in a second experience while working with policy makers in the industry, all in an effort to Advocate for Agriculture.
  2. The Ag Mechanics Contest sponsored by Farm Credit is for middle and high school students.  This individual event allows students to create and submit intricate and technical masterpieces that are judged and then displayed during the Expo for the public to see.
  3. The Youth Educational Challenges sponsored by Country Financial is for middle and high school students.  These individual contests test student knowledge in 5 areas.  In addition, students will be able to challenge their ag teachers…who has the most ag knowledge?  Participants receive a meal sponsored by Agri-Supply and Coca-Cola.
    1. Content Area Contests
      1. Ag Business
      2. Ag Mechanics
      3. Animal Science
      4. Forestry & ENR
      5. Plant Science
    2. The GAUNTLET
      1. A contest for students and teachers to test knowledge on all content areas.

If you aren’t already registered, DO IT NOW!  Visit sunbeltexpo.com/highlighted-events/yeo/  for all of the details and to register you and your team.

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Field Day – Join us Online Thursday to Learn from the Researchers

Rain may have our fields a bit soggy, but that won’t keep us from keeping you up-to-date on the latest research happening on the Darrell Williams Research Farm.  While we can’t visit with you in person on Thursday, we look forward to you being able to watch the pre-recorded videos from wherever you are comfortable.  Beginning at 8:00 a m,  the videos will be available at sunbeltexpo.com.  Feel free to view them anytime after that.  If you have questions or would like to speak with any of the researchers or companies, contact them via the email listed under each video or let us know and we will be happy to get you the information you need.  For a list of featured plots, see the list below.  We can’t wait for you to experience the latest ag innovation, Thursday, August 12th!

UGA Weed Science Cotton
UGA Cotton Team Cotton
Agro Liquid – Cotton Cotton
Valley Irrigation Irrigation
UGA Peanut Team Peanuts
UGA Peanuts
KMC Equipment
UGA Precision Ag Precision Ag
Nutrien Sorghum
DeKalb Sorghum
Forquimica Sorghum
Helena Agri-Enterprises Peanuts
CropX Irrigation
Reinke Irrigation Irrigation
Nutrien Ag Solutions Corn
Agro Liquid Corn
UGA Forage Team Hay
SE Hay Contest Hay
Water Stop
DeKalb Corn
Nutrien Ag Solutions Corn
NK Syngenta Corn
Pioneer Corn
Progeny Ag Products Corn
Nutrien Soybeans
Pioneer Soybeans
Asgrow Soybeans
DonMario Seeds Soybeans
UGA Extension Corn and Cotton
Agro Liquid – Soybeans Soybeans
BASF Stoneville Cotton
Americot, Inc Cotton
Phytogen – Cotton Cotton
DeltaPine Cotton
Nutrien Cotton
Nutrien Ag Solutions Peanuts
Agro Liquid Peanuts
Vantage Southeast Equipment

 

West Retires from the SAE Board

West Retires from the SAE Board

Dr. Joe West officially retired from the Sunbelt Ag Expo Board at its quarterly meeting in July.  West graciously served the SAE Board for seven years.  While he will no longer serve the Expo in this capacity, he will serve the organization for a three-year term beginning later this month as a Farmer of the Year Judge.  Learn more about the FOY program in future blogs.

Dr. Joe West, who most recently served as the interim dean and director of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, also served as the assistant dean of the University of Georgia Tifton Campus for 12 years..

His career with CAES spanned nearly 35 years. During his time as assistant dean, he oversaw enhancements to the learning environment for students, as well as growth in research activity and Extension programming on the Tifton Campus. He also spearheaded extensive capital improvements on the front of the Tifton campus, including the renovations of the Tift Building and Agriculture Research buildings and the construction of the Centennial Garden as part of the campus’ 100-year celebration in 2019.  West was also a professor in the UGA Department of Animal and Dairy Science and was chosen to be the interim department head, a role that lasted almost two years.

While the last few months have allowed Dr. West to truly “retire,” he is constantly on the go, traveling between Tifton and his family farm in Tennessee.  He and his wife, Joy, enjoy seeing new places, being spontaneous, spending time with family, and “just being together.”

The Sunbelt Ag Expo is grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Joe West for seven years.  He was honored at the July 2021 board meeting for his tenure as part of the governing body of the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition.  We wish him many sunrises and sunsets, no matter where his travels take him.

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It’s Almost Time

It’s Almost Time

August means it’s time for a new school year to begin.  It means high school football is right around the corner.  In the south, August means the beginning of harvest season.  On the Darrell Williams Research Farm at the Sunbelt Expo, we will soon begin harvesting corn.  In the weeks and months to follow, combines, diggers, pickers and balers will be running around the clock as farmers harvest this year’s crop.  August also means it’s time to plan your trip to Expo.

To kick off Expo season, we will soon begin featuring the sights and sounds that you will experience at this year’s event.  Beginning Sunday, online ticketing for the 2021 Sunbelt Ag Expo will be available.  In addition, student contest registration will open.  To purchase your tickets, visit sunbeltexpo.com.  For more information regarding student contests, visit sunbeltexpo.com/yeo.

The Sunbelt Expo is for EVERYONE!  We can’t wait to have you, your family and your students with us.

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