Sunbelt Ag Expo Preview Photo Spotlight State

Spotlight on Arkansas

By Bryce Roland, 2022 Sunbelt Ag Expo Intern

With their Sunbelt Ag Expo motto being “Experience Arkansas” the natural state is ready to show off everything they have to offer. I was able to stop by the spotlight state building and check out some of the highlights of the great state of Arkansas. This years spotlight state has something for everyone. It boasts being the only state with a diamond mine, the production of Lockheed Martin rockets, and is the nation’s top producer of rice. Visitors are sure to leave with fun facts, snacks, and other fun souvenirs. Make sure to stop by this year’s Sunbelt Ag Expo spotlight state, and check out some Arkansas hospitality!

Sunbelt Ag Expo Preview Photo Sunset

A Great Kick-Off to the 2022 Sunbelt Ag Expo

By Lizzy Parks, 2022 Sunbelt Ag Expo Intern

We saw a beautiful sunrise this morning, and I was reminded of the passion that surrounds the agricultural industry. From farmers to agribusiness owners, the people that make the Sunbelt Ag Expo possible also ensure agriculture is the #1 industry in Georgia. With one look around the expo grounds, you will notice countless American flags in the sky. I’m thankful for the freedom that we have as agriculturalists and supporters. Many of these producers are working from sun up to sun down. At the end of Day 1, we are prepared for a beautiful sunset. God Bless Sunbelt! 

Sunbelt Ag Expo Preview Photo Milking contest

An Utterly Exciting Competition

By Darby Masters, 2022 Sunbelt Ag Expo Intern

Ending the events in the Dairy Pavilion was our cow milking competition featuring President Zippy Duvall of the American Farm Bureau, President Tom McCall of the Georgia Farm Bureau, and President Jimmy Parnell of the Alabama Farmers Federation. The competitors had to fill their individual buckets as much as possible by milking a cow in one minute. Parents and kids watching the competition cheered on the presidents to milk faster, hoping to encourage each one to out milk the other. In order to make the milking competition fair, the competitors went through three rounds. After each round, all three presidents rotated to a different cow. Once each cow was milked by each president, everyone gathered around the judging table to see who filled up their individual graduated cylinder the most. After careful consideration by parents and kids, it was clear that it was a close competition. President Parnell came in third, not far behind President McCall in second place. Sweeping away first place was President Duvall of the American Farm Bureau.

Sunbelt Ag Expo Preview Photo SE Hay Contest

The 2022 Southeastern Hay Contest

By Maddie Frost, 2022 Sunbelt Ag Expo Intern

The 2022 Southeastern Hay Contest, sponsored by Massey Furgeson, took place today in the RW Griffin building at the 2022 Sunbelt Ag Expo. The contest is based of the relative forage quality (RFQ) . Lisa Baxter, Extension Forage Agronomist, called out the awards as follows:

Warm Season Perennial Grass Hay First Place Winner: Walters Farms- Barnesville, Georgia

Alfalfa Hay First Place Winner: Beeson Farms- Climax, North Carolina

Perennial Peanut Hay First Place Winner: Come Family Farms LLC- Malone, Florida

Cool Season Perennial Grass Hay First Place Winner: Stegall Farms, LLC – Peachland, North Carolina

Mixed, Annual Grass, or Other Hay First Place Winner: Fox Pipe Farm- Laurens, South Carolina

Grass Baleage First Place Winner: Walters Farms- Barnesville, Georgia

Legume Baleage First Place Winner: C & C Farms- McAlpin, Florida

Sunbelt Ag Expo Preview Photo Equine

Sorting It Out 

By Rylee Grazulis, 2022 Sunbelt Ag Expo Intern

This morning the Priefert arena hosted the Cattle Basics 101 seminar. At this live demonstration, guests had the pleasure of watching a sorting presentation. Calves were numbered and only allowed into an alternative pen, one at a time in their specific order. Two people and their horses then worked together to move them in a timely and efficient manner while following the correct procedure.


The Sunbelt Ag Expo is home to many beef and cattle management seminars including BQA animal husbandry, managing costs in tough economic times, a dystocia model/calving simulator, and the Sunbelt “chute” out. Stop by at the Priefert arena for live demonstrations all day long!

Sunbelt Ag Expo Preview Photo 2022 Farmer of the Year

2022 Farmer of the Year

By Bridget Dixon, 2022 Sunbelt Ag Expo Intern

The Sunbelt Ag Expo is proud to recognize Robert E. Saunders of Virginia as this year’s Farmer of the Year. Hailing from Piney River, Virginia, Saunders is a multigenerational farmer who grows woody ornamentals, annuals, perennials, field ornamentals, grated trees, peaches, nectarines, apples, and Asian pears. Saunders received a $15,000 cash prize for winning Farmer of the Year and joined a long line of prestigious Farmer of the Year recipients from prior years. State winners of Farmer of the Year hail from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

The expo was honored to host Governor Brian Kemp at the Opening Ceremonies and the Farmer of the Year luncheon. Governor Kemp spoke at both events on the success of agriculture within the state of Georgia and how he is hopeful for the industry for years to come.