More than cattle on display at ag expo

Last year’s 11th annual New Mexico Ag Expo at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds in Portales featured a dairy heifer auction. Freedom Newspapers: Lisa Sonnenschein.

By Michelle Seeber

PORTALES — About 400 exhibitors from across the United States and Canada are expected to display their wares Feb. 24-25 at the 12th Annual New Mexico Agricultural Expo at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds.
Among the exhibitors will be Larry Levacy of Levacy Sprinkler Inc., Portales, and Ralph Franse of Franse Irrigation Inc., Farwell.
They will have on display at their booth a new generation of computerized gadgets that control irrigation sprinklers for farmers.
“We’ll have brochures and everything, then a display of the Pro-2 panel,” Levacy said at his business Tuesday. “The panel is a new variation on computer aided management systems that control irrigation sprinklers.”
The panel is designed to provide farmers a way to better manage their time when setting controls for sprinklers, which pivot and can vary in size from a quarter-mile to a half-mile long, Levacy said.
“A farmer could hook up this panel in his home to check on it with his home computer, his cell phone or a two-way radio,” he said. “It’s a time-saving option.”
It takes one panel to control one sprinkler system, Levacy said. The number of sprinkler systems a farmer owns can vary from one to 20. One panel could cost from $4,000 to $6,000, depending on its capabilities.
With the panel “you can start, stop and change directions of sprinklers, among other things,” he said.
Franse, who sells the same equipment, said he is sharing a 10-foot-by-20-foot display booth with Levacy at the Expo.
“We’ll just be sharing the cost of the booth to save money,” Franse said.
Anna Foster, public relations and events coordinator for the Roosevelt Chamber of Commerce, recently said visitors will find more than exhibitors at the Expo.
“A quilt show featuring antique quilts will be available, and a seminar on dating quilts and how to care for them will be offered, as well as two cooking workshops,” Foster said.
“In addition, women accompanying their spouses to the event will have an opportunity to shop at 15 arts and crafts booths and watch a style show in the Women’s Building,” she said.
Many more activities and seminars will be ongoing.

Vital Expo-nents
• What: Ag Expo
• When: Feb. 24-25
• Where: Roosevelt County Fairgrounds, Portales
• Admission: Free
• Information: 1-800-635-8036 or chamber@portales.com
• Web site: www.portales.com