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Farm, ranch show displays technologies (video)

By ALLISON MILES
Oct. 24, 2012 at 5:24 a.m.

David Wilks, 56, walks around the outside as Hugo Wilks, 83, sits inside a Case IH Farmall at the Farm and Ranch Show in Victoria.

If you go

• WHAT: 2012 South Texas Farm and Ranch Show

• WHERE: Victoria Community Center, 2905 E. North St.

• WHEN: 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday

• COST: Free

• For more info, call 361-575-4581 or visit HERE.

Evelyn Dornak shielded her eyes in the morning sun as she gazed at the combine towering overhead.

"That's a lot of machine, isn't it?" she said with a chuckle. "You'd have to have a lot of land for one of those."

Dornak and her husband, Tom Dornak, attended opening day of the 2012 South Texas Farm and Ranch Show on Wednesday. It's tradition, she said.

"He ranches in Hallettsville and we like to come out to see what's new," she said. "Things have changed an awful lot in the last 55 years."

Now in its 28th year, the show is a chance to glimpse the latest and greatest the industry has to offer, said Gary Loest, the show chairman. Children's programs, vendor booths, concessions and educational events also join the mix.

Loest said he didn't have an attendance count Wednesday, but said crowds were bigger than he'd seen in the past.

"It's fantastic," he said. "There are just people everywhere, and it's a beautiful day. I think this is what you call a chamber of commerce day."

Showgoer Butch Upham said he attends annually because of the information available. A Lavaca County rancher who lives in Victoria, he said the CEU credits help.

After all these years, however, this year's show managed to surprise him.

On Wednesday, he found himself propped in a chair for a free boot shine at the GCR Tire Center booth.

"This is a first," he said.

Texas Beef Council representative Mike McCravey used the show as a chance to answer questions and educate people about beef and available programs.

The beef council recently began a running team, for instance, while a study called BOLD - Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet - shows that eating lean beef can help lower cholesterol.

"A lot of people don't know that," he said.

At the next booth over, Stephen Ray, site manager for Victoria's Garden-Ville location, also spoke with the show's visitors. Garden-Ville offers organic soil, compost and more, and the company set out samples for passersby to see.

Although the business has called a site beside the Victoria landfill home for three years, many people don't realize they're there, Ray said. The show was a way to get the word out.

"What better place to be?" he asked. "We've got all the farmers out here."

Kermit Harton Jr. also aimed to speak with farmers.

The Hlavinka representative had tractors, combines and more for potential customers to see, and said technology changes all the time. About 95 percent of the machines the company sells, for instance, offer GPS and other precision farming tools.

Still, farming itself is changing just as quickly.

"The farmer of today is a top-notch businessman," he said. "The days of the guy in the overalls are gone."

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