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|Weather and digital technology highlight World Ag Expo 2011|
|News - Progressive Events|
|Written by PD Editor Walt Cooley|
|Thursday, 17 February 2011 15:49|
Perfect weather and a much improved dairy economy helped encourage attendance at World Ag Expo in 2011. Many local vendors and long-standing exhibitors said it had been over a decade since they remember having three straight days of sunny, warm weather for the annual show held the second week of February in Tulare, California.
Weather was sunny and in the upper 60s. Even the Central Valley’s frequent winter morning fog was absent.
In the past, attendance has been counted by volunteers with handheld clickers at gate entrances. Knudsen says usually about 100,000 visitors come to the show.
"We will have a much more accurate depiction of how many people are there each day and how many people are walking in from all the different entry points," Knudsen says.
This was the first year the show provided a smartphone application for iPhone and Android platform users. The application had more than 1,000 downloads.
"We brought on our app as an opportunity for people who prefer to use their smartphone as a navigational device,” Knudsen says. “You’ll see advancements in that app in the next few years."
One additional feature Knudsen hopes will be added is GPS navigation for the show grounds.
More than 800 visitors scouted the digital show grounds prior to the event on the show’s website and created an agenda for their visit. These attendees planned to see 25 to 30 companies.
More than 1,500 yards of concrete were used to create the floor, which is enough gravel and cement to create a three-foot-wide sidewalk that is four inches deep and about 4,500 feet long, or the length of 15 football fields.
The group formed early last fall and has been soliciting membership. Current membership is under 5,000, with members in about 35 states.
Each of the three days during the show, the 13-member board introduced themselves and discussed their organization’s new Contract with Producers with other dairy producer visitors and members of the media.
Chairman Bill Rowell moderated a question-and-answer session each day. A frequently asked question was whether the group would support National Milk Producer Federation’s Foundation for the Future.
Treasurer Gary Genske said in response: "We hope that National Milk Producer Federation’s legislation will incorporate our concerns as outlined in our Contract with Producers, but if not we are prepared to introduce our own legislation to educate politicians and legislators." PD
Photos by PD Editor Dario Martinez.
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