New Mexico Ag Expo celebrates 20 years in 2012
Back in 1993 a group of Portales farmers, businessmen and educators came together to create the first agricultural exposition in the state of New Mexico. Twenty years later the event is going strong and still the only event of its kind in the state.
The 2012 New Mexico Ag Expo, sponsored by Plateau Wireless and Dairy Farmers of America runs Feb. 21 to 22 at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds in Portales.
The New Mexico Ag Expo was conceived by Barry Barkley, an employee of C&S Oil, Inc, in Portales, N.M. Barkley had participated in similar shows in Tulare, Calif. He approached Gary Wiley, a member of Roosevelt County Board of Economic Development, and Dallan Sanders, who was serving as executive director at the time, about having an annual agriculture trade show in Portales.
A steering committee was formed in 1992. Some of the members included: Sanders, Barkley, Wiley, Floyd McAlister, Chase Gentry, Randy McCasland, Bud Strong, Nancy Gentry and Winston Cox.
The first show was held March 4 to 5, 1993, at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds. There were 75 exhibitors at the first two-day show. The Roosevelt County Chamber and the New Mexico State University Extension Service along with a strong working committee that meets year-round have been the backbone of the event.
The Expo experienced steady growth to start and as the dairy industry was built up in eastern New Mexico the event boomed.
In its 20th year the Expo will have the new Roosevelt County Events Center in which to house exhibitors. In addition, the Tumbleweed Classic Winter Stock Dog Trial will be held in conjunction with the Expo.
"Technologies in agriculture have changed drastically over the last 20 years," said 2012 Ag Expo Chairman Patrick Kircher who is also the Roosevelt County Extension Agent. "Our goal with the Ag Expo has always been to help our farmers and ranchers keep up with those changes both from a business standpoint and an education standpoint. I think we've done that pretty well.
There is no admission to the grounds or any of the events during the two-day run of the Expo. The show will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Feb. 21 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 22. For applications or more information about vendor booths or attendance call 800-635-8036, email the Expo at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the all-new website at nmagexpo.com.