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2013 South Texas Farm and Ranch Show sees continued growth

ALLISON MILES

By ALLISON MILES
Oct. 22, 2013 at 5:22 a.m.
Updated Oct. 23, 2013 at 5:23 a.m.

Inside & Outside Sale Representative, Cody Morrow, 23, Arkansas, Wynne cleans some of the machinery from his company Hutchinson/Mayrath in preparation of the South Texas Farm and Ranch Show.

Attention, Crossroads residents: For the next couple of days, it's all about the agriculture.

The 2013 South Texas Farm and Ranch Show pulls into town Wednesday and Thursday at the Victoria Community Center, offering industry training, product displays, hands-on demonstrations and more. And organizers say this year's event will be bigger than ever.

Show planners not only filled all available booth space this time around but also added additional vendor locations, said Joe Janak, who headed up the vendors registration.

About 25 booths are registered to out-of-state companies, such as a Michigan Chevrolet dealer looking to show off the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado.

"We're hitting the ground running. There's very good interest, a very good tempo," Janak said. "People are really interested."

He attributed that growth to the show's reputation. People who have ventured to Victoria in the past have gone on to other shows and told others about it.

Also, Janak noted, he placed more effort on making contact with new potential vendors.

"It's paid off substantially," he said Tuesday morning.

Janak encouraged people to come any time within the show's two-day run but recommended those looking to avoid the crowds go between 3 and 5 p.m. Thursday. At that point, the event is still going on, and vendors are there, but crowds have calmed some.

"Thursday afternoon is a great time to come out," he said. "We need people to come out and support the show."

The goal is not only to offer insight into the newest products and practices available in the area but to also provide educational opportunities, said Victoria County AgriLife Extension Agent Peter McGuill.

Continuing education is available both days for producers and pesticide license applicators, for instance, while the "Pasture to Plate" series for third graders offers children insight into where their food comes from.

About 2,000 to 2,500 people visit the farm and ranch show on any given year, McGuill said. And, although he can't predict 2013 numbers, he said he expects this year's event to remain right on track.

The forecast - the National Weather Service predicts sunny weather with high temperatures in the low 80s on both days - could also help.

"It will be comfortable, with the sun shining," he said. "There'll be a lot of opportunity for people to get out and look at the latest and greatest in equipment and products."

Victoria's legacy as a community has always been in farming and ranching and oil, said Randy Vivian, president and CEO of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce. The annual show is a chance to showcase that to the area, he said, and to offer those in the industry a chance to get together for topic-driven lectures and the like.

After all, he said, farming and ranching isn't just plowing fields and planting corn.

"There's a lot more that goes into the agricultural industry than just the typical stereotype," he said. "It's a business, and it's a big business. Not just in Texas but nationwide."

McGuill said he looks forward to the event, his second in his role as Victoria County extension agent. And while it means plenty of work, that work doesn't end once the final vendor leaves Thursday.

At that point, it's on to the 2014 show.

"It's never over," he said. "You're just a year away from the next one."

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