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View From the Hill: Agriculture Expositions

By Lance Waybright, National Grange Intern (View From The Hill Blog 2/8/13)

  FEBRUARY 8, 2013 --
For most farmers, February, like January, is a time to catch-up on loose ends and complete unfinished projects that were delayed during the busy season. During this season, farmers are occupied with tax preparation, studying up on field developments, preparing the planting and harvesting machinery, and attending a few ag-expos. Attending your state’s ag-expo proves to be a resourceful opportunity for many farmers to socialize and network with industry members. Ag-expos afford farmers the chance to strengthen their list of professional contacts as well as learn about new technology in their field.

Ag-expos can be time well spent but if one fails to plan accordingly a trip to the expo may fall short of a success. Planning, like everything else, helps to ensure a productive trip and time well spent. Here are a few things one should consider before visiting an ag-expo:

  • Check farm publications and websites for exposition advertisements and mark your calendar ASAP to prevent scheduling overlap. Know where the expo grounds are located and how to get there. It also helps to know if the expo provides on-site parking.
  • If you plan to travel a significant distance, make your hotel reservations ahead of time. Booking earlier may allow you the opportunity to receive discounts.
  • Usually the farm publications, particularly the local ones, will include a layout of the exposition grounds, making their readers aware of where vendors are stationed. If a site layout isn’t available, check their website or the welcome booth at the expo. Knowing where vendors are located will help you save time and assure you get to visit those who you need to meet with most. Make a list of vendors and prioritize them from most to least important.
  • Bring along plenty of your business cards and make a point to ask for a vendor’s card if they do not offer theirs.
  • Bring along a pen and notepad.
  • Be conscience of the time and pace yourself through the expo. Many times, it’s difficult to get a hold of professionals and expos serve as time to do such.
  • Before leaving, indicate on your notepad those who you intend to follow up with and make note of prices and dimensions of equipment or services that may be easily forgettable.

As a farm and business manager, ag-expos should be resourceful and fun. With a little proper planning, your time will be well spent.

- Lance Waybright
National Grange Intern 
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