New Mexico Ag Expo on its way

By Tony Parra: Freedom Newspapers

PORTALES — The 2006 New Mexico Agricultural Expo will feature everything from old tractor driving games, quilt and fashion shows to important, up-to-date industry developments for dairymen, ranchers and farmers.

There are also several demonstrations and vendors for the families who tour the Ag Expo, which has no entry fee.

Sharon King, Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce manager and an Expo organizer, said this year’s Ag Expo will have more than 400 vendors offering products and services and 160 booths. Nancy Gentry, chairperson of the Ag Expo committee, said the initial Ag Expo had 75 booths.

“I really enjoy all of the vendors coming into town,” Gentry said. “We’re hoping the Ag Expo will bring in new businesses to Portales. It’s (Ag Expo) very important for economic development.”

Gentry has been helping with the New Mexico Ag Expo ever since it’s inception.

“The Expo offers a variety of activities for people,” King said. “There truly is a little something for everyone. The impact on our economy is very large — both in Portales and Clovis. ”

Roosevelt County Ag Extension Agent Floyd McAlister helped bring in specialists and experts from the agricultural field to talk with area producers and growers about livestock and crops.

“We absolutely couldn’t do it without Floyd McAlister,” King said. “He has put together all of the seminars and demonstrations. ”

Two items of interest for those in the dairy industry will be a discussion on milk prices for 2006 and the Premium Grade and Registered Dairy Heifer Sale.

John J. Wilson, the Corporate Vice President of Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. will give a presentation on Feb. 22 titled, “What’s Ahead in Milk Prices for 2006.”

The heifer sale, held by Portales Livestock employees, will cap Ag Expo activities.

King said there were approximately 2,500 who attended last year’s Ag Expo.

Fast facts
• What: 14th annual Ag Expo
• When: Feb. 21-22
• Where: Roosevelt County Fairgrounds