by Jon M. Casey
It didn’t take long to see the changes from previous years at the 2014 Virginia Farm Show. As attendees made their way from Building 1 to Building 2 Jan. 16-18, they were welcomed with a new paved asphalt floor inside the facility.
According to Lee Publications Trade Show Manager Ken Maring, all exhibitor booth spaces sold out in advance of the show this year, making this the largest show hosted at the Augusta Expo Center in Fishersville, VA. With more to see this year, and with the show scheduled to run Thursday through Saturday to accommodate the farmers only available to attend on weekends, the steady stream of attendees throughout the three-day event gave everyone an opportunity to learn more about the latest in products and services available to regional farmers.
The weather cooperated in stellar fashion, with all three days sunny and comfortable. A dusting of snow the night before opening day did not present a problem; it melted by midday. By Friday’s Skid Steer Rodeo action, clear weather offered participants and spectators good conditions for the two-hour event that featured seven skid steer and mini excavators to challenge the contestants. Spectators were not disappointed as they rooted for their favorite competitors throughout the event.
One of the activities on each of the three days was the drawing for door prizes at the Country Folks exhibit. Since the winners needed to be present to win, the exhibit room filled with excitement every afternoon, beginning around 2:30 for the 3 p.m. drawing. Grand prizes included a CVA muzzle-loading rifle, a Parker Crossbow and a $2,000 credit toward a hosted deer-hunting trip to the Keystone Valley Ranch in Shermansdale, PA.
For Margaret and Bob Chandler of Staunton, VA, this year’s trip to the Virginia Farm Show proved to be much more than they had expected. As Saturday’s winner of the $2,000 credit for the hunting trip, they can look forward to an exciting adventure in the coming year. Bob said he looks forward to arranging the hunting trip for this fall.
For exhibitors like Gary Camp of Independent Ag, and Joey Brickhouse of ProAg Insurance, the Virginia Farm Show proved to be an excellent venue to talk face to face with farmers from throughout the region. By having the kind of targeted attendance that this show provides, exhibitors are able to focus their products and services toward the kinds of shoppers that farm in this area.
“We were able to talk to a lot of perspective customers during the three days of this event,” said Brickhouse. “Our agents who worked the show on Friday were very pleased with the results that they had.”
For more information about the upcoming Virginia Farm Show for 2015, visit www.virginiafarmshow.com
Virginia Farm Show continues to grow
by Jon M. Casey