Ag Expo on its way

File photo Herb Newberry of Portales rides his father’s tractor fixed up for the antique tractor parade atlast year’s New Mexico Ag Expo. Newberry said the tractor was used before his father bought it in the 50s.

Argen Duncan

This year’s 19th annual New Mexico Ag Expo promises information ranging from the government perspective on dairy issues to the popular working dog clinic.

The expo is set for Tuesday and Wednesday at the Roosevelt County Fairgrounds. Admission is free.

“We’ve got a wide array of programs,” said Patrick Kircher, chairman of the Ag Expo committee.

Kircher, also the Roosevelt County Extension agriculture agent, said attendees could take advantage of two programs dealing with the Conservation Reserve Program and management options. With the program, landowners volunteer to plant resource-conserving vegetation on their land in exchange for government payment.

“There’s going to be a lot of acres retiring out of that program in the next few years, and people are going to have to make decisions about what to do with that land,” he said, adding the programs will provide information to help with those decisions.

Kircher also said representatives from the office of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., will conduct a Farm Bill listening session for people to share their thoughts and priorities pertaining to the federal Farm Bill. A Udall staff member is also set to give a presentation on dairy issues from a governmental point of view.

The workshop on “Building a Better Stock Horse” and the Working Dog Clinic are back this year as well.

“Those have been popular for years, and we sure like to get them,” Kircher said.

Also, Kircher said two seminars — one on integrated pest management and another on prairie dog control — would count for New Mexico Department of Agriculture continuing education credits producers need to keep their licenses to apply pesticides current.

In addition to the programs, Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Karl Terry said more than 100 vendor booths were registered, some from local businesses and some coming from as far as Canada and New York.

Terry said attendance varies, but the expo has an average of 3,000 people who come.

“Obviously, we’ve had a little leaner year with the recession still impacting agribusiness, but we’ve got a loyal base of vendors and attendees that make the event happen every year, and we’re confident it’s still going to be a great one,” he said.

Terry also said volunteers, some of who help out every year, operate the event.

The idea of the expo is to let people in agribusiness exchange ideas, see what’s new and make contacts with vendors, Terry said. The event also has a big economic impact on Portales with vendors and attendees staying in town, he said.

ENMR Plateau and Dairy Farmers of America are the major sponsors this year.

19th annual Ag Expo

Tuesday

• 9 a.m. Expo and exhibits open

• 9 a.m. Natural Resources Conservation Service and Partners Workshop, Dairy Pavilion (all-day meeting)

• 9:30 a.m. “Are You Ready for Calving Season?” John Wenzel, NMSU extension veterinarian, McAlister Room, Jake Lopez Community Center

• 9:30 a.m. “Funding for Energy Efficiency or Renewable Energy for Farm, Ranch and Small Business (Biomass, Solar and Wind),” Jesse Monfort Bopp, rural energy coordinator, USDA Rural Development for New Mexico, Cacahuate Room, Jake Lopez Community Center

• 10 a.m. “Building a Better Stock Horse,” Scott Bagley, Dimmitt, Texas, outside/Show Arena

• 10:30 a.m. “Integrated Pest Management for Crop Production,” Monti Vandiver, Texas Agri-Life IPM specialist, McAlister Room, Jake Lopez Community Center

• 11 a.m. Antique Tractor Parade, Midway

• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Chuck Wagon Lunch, Portales Rotary Club, Sheep Barn (Will deliver to homes or businesses with prior notice)

• 1 p.m. “Grazing Options for Conservation Reserve Program,” Ted McCollum, Texas Agri-Life beef cattle specialist, McAlister Room, Jake Lopez Community Center

• 1:30 p.m. Antique Tractor Games

• 2 p.m. “Building a Better Stock Horse,” Scott Bagley, Dimmitt, Texas, outside/Show Arena

• 2 p.m. Antique Tractor Parade, Midway

• 3 p.m. Farm Bill listening session, staff of Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., Dairy Pavilion

• 3 p.m. “Conservation Reserve Program Agronomics,” John Idowu, NMSU Extension Agronomist, Cacahuate Room, Jake Lopez Community Center

• 5 p.m. Expo closes

Wednesday

• 9 a.m. Expo and exhibits open

• 9:30 a.m. Working Dog Clinic, Kyle Dillard, Milnesand, Show Arena (event will run all day long)

• 10 a.m. Ag Marketing, Jerry Hawkes, NMSU associate professor, extension economics, Cacahuate Room, Jake Lopez Community Center

• 10 a.m. Antique Tractor Games

• 10:30 a.m. “Fast-N-Fabulous,” Connie Moyers, Roosevelt County Extension home economist, McAlister Room, Jake Lopez Community Center

• 10:30 a.m. Antique Tractor Parade, Midway

• Noon Dairy Farmers of America Dairymen’s Lunch, Dairy Pavilion (Open to all dairymen.)

• 12:30 p.m. “Current Look at National Issues Facing Dairy Industry,” Jackie Klippenstein, DFA vice president for industry and legislative affairs, Dairy Pavilion

• 1 p.m. “Dairy Issues from a Government Perspective,” Staff of Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., (following DFA session)

• 1 p.m. Working Dog Clinic, Kyle Dillard, Milnesand, Show Arena (continued from morning session)

• 1:30 p.m. “Prairie Dog Control — Offsetting the Cost of Damage,” Sam Smallidge, NMSU extension wildlife specialist, McAlister Room, Jake Lopez Community Center

• 2 p.m. Antique Tractor Parade

• 5 p.m. Expo closes