Image via World Ag Expo
Written by Edward Smith
Because of the Covid pandemic, the World Ag Expo will not be held in 2021.
For this first time in 52 years, the Board of Directors for the International Agri-Center have decided not to hold the event that would have taken place in February, according to a press release.
“After working with the Tulare County Health Department and other officials, it has become evident that given health and safety restrictions from the State of California, holding a live, international event is not responsible in February,” said Jerry Sinift, International Agri-Center® CEO in the release.
Coordinating an international event in the midst of a pandemic was going to be extremely difficult, said Jennifer Fawkes, marketing manager for the International Agri-Center. In a normal year, they have visitors from between 60-70 different countries.
Even as Covid cases were being reported around the world, over 106,000 people from over 56 countries attended the event. The event brought in $53 million to Tulare County, surrounding counties and California.
And November is their initial deadline to have exhibitors, volunteers and contractors signed for a deal.
Despite not holding the event, they still have a charge to connect buyers and sellers in the ag industry as well as bring new technologies to farmers, said Fawkes.
For that reason, they will still hold the top-10 new products event in February, as “companies are still coming out with products,” she said.
They are also continuing their work with Fresno State to increase access to new technologies and markets, especially in the world of irrigation. In the coming months, resources will be made available, she said, but plans have not been finalized to replace the 1,442 exhibitors they had in 2020.
“Our charge with the expo is to bring buyers and sellers together and make sure ag producers have the knowledge they need to do more and better business,” said Fawkes. “We’re going to find new ways to do it and serve our customers,” she went on to say.
The 2022 World Ag Expo is scheduled for Feb. 8 – 10