The Southern Farm Show will celebrate its 43rd year at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh February 5-7. The largest annual agricultural exposition in the Carolinas and Virginia, the show hosts over 400 companies filling over 300,000 square feet of exhibit space.
The 2020 show has again grown is size, with major expansions happening in two of the five exhibit tents. These tents are used to handle overflow exhibitors from the fairgrounds’ four permanent exhibit halls. The show also features over 100 companies with outdoor displays.
While the show has changed over the years to reflect changes in agriculture, it’s growth has not been affected by the cyclical nature of the farm economy. According to show manager David Zimmerman, “When agriculture is booming, farmers come to find the equipment, supplies and services they need to keep up. When things slow down, they come seeking the solutions they need to stay in business.” Zimmerman says those solutions can include a change in crop mix, productivity enhancements, and other answers that experts at the show can provide.
Highlights of this year’s show include the Agricultural Development Forum on Thursday. The NC Department of Agriculture’s annual gathering of agricultural leaders, this year’s forum will include Commissioner Steve Troxler’s “State of Agriculture” address, a speech by American Farm Bureau Federation president Zippy Duvall, and a economic forecast by NC State University’s Dr. Blake Brown.
Other major gatherings are Wednesday’s kickoff breakfast, hosted by the Wake County Agribusiness Council, and Friday’s annual meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina.
Show happenings include continuing education for North Carolina pesticide license holders, daily lumberjack shows presented by Stihl, the Future Farmers of America Tractor and Truck Driving Competitions, and bluegrass entertainment provided by the Farm Credit Association of NC. The show wraps up on Friday night with the annual Southern National Draft Horse Pull.
Both admission and parking for the Southern Farm Show are free. Show hours are 9 am to 4 pm daily. For complete detail, visit www.SouthernFarmShow.com