PORTALES — Vendors promoting a bevy of products to help endorse, maximize and reinvent the business of agriculture closed their booths and headed home on Wednesday as the New Mexico Ag Expo came to an end.
Organizers say the event that started on Tuesday with a light, wind-driven snow and ended on a cool, cloudless day was a success.
Roosevelt County Ag Extension Agent Floyd McAlister, who is on the Ag Expo committee, estimated 5,000 people attended the two-day event.
Organizers said it’s hard to estimate if this year’s event entertained more customers than last year’s. But Amie Franz of the Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce said organizers sold 156 booths for the event, about the same as last year.
One of the reasons vendors enjoy the Expo in Portales is the majority of customers are serious about agriculture and genuinely interested in the promoted products, said Kim Huffman, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.
“Seven out of 10 people who come are serious about agriculture and that’s what the vendors like,” Huffman said. “The event is for the vendors; when they’re happy the show is a success.”
Michael Klaseen of Mesa, Ariz., who was set up outdoors promoting a cooling system for cows, joked that the first day he felt “under appreciated” as the snow discouraged customers from even noticing his tent.
“Fifty percent of the time we have inclement weather,” Ag Expo Committee chairman Dennis Edwards said. “We still had farmers and ranchers show up Tuesday. Sometimes bad weather is good because it means they can’t work on the fields and gives them a chance to attend the fair.”
Edwards said it’s nice to see attendance from non-farmers and non-ranchers, but stressed it’s not a fair for children and teens.
“It’s targeted toward people in that industry (agriculture),” Edwards said. “We were pleased with it. We had great exhibits. The rain and snow was good because we needed the moisture. It rubs off on every business.”