Every year, hundreds of agriculture enthusiasts travel from miles away to attend the Agricultural Expo in Moultrie, Georgia, North America’s Premier farm show. The 100-acre Exhibit area, 600-acre working farm and over 1200 exhibitors have just about everything you can think of that is Ag related.
According to Charley Lollis, the ag expo started as ABAC “Dealer Days,” a small farm show put on by faculty and staff that eventually grew to be North America’s Premier Farm Show. Though it began with only one presenting college, the expo now has over 10 colleges presenting every year. As we step back inside ABACs building we have the past, present and future of ABAC.
The very first Dealer Days was held on the ABAC’s campus in 1964. This mini-trade show was designed to allow local dealers to show off their new tractors & implements. At the same time, it provided students an opportunity to meet with potential employers. More often than not, many students working with Dealers Days went on to find employment with the local equipment dealers.
This year’s expo took place on Oct. 15-17. The Ag Expo is also home to many southern colleges that showcase what they have to offer. These colleges include the University of Florida, Auburn University and our very own ABAC. The ABAC Ambassadors and Collegiate FFA were helping out at the expo and representing ABAC.
The purpose of ABAC attending the expo is to provide information to prospective students that are preparing for college life.
The Georgia Museum of Agriculture (GMA) attended the Expo as well. The GMA demonstrated everyday farm life, animal production and blacksmithing.
Schools and FFA chapters from all over the nation gather at this expo for field demonstrations such as hay and cotton bailing.
The Ag Expo is a trade show not to be missed. This is because every year, there is something new to learn and see. There are also traditions being kept alive such as the antique tractor parade where attendees can watch tractors of all ages roll down the pavement of the expo.
There were plenty of sights and sounds at the ABAC building as well. The ABAC Ambassadors answered any questions that potential students may have had. Attendees had the opportunity to lasso a “cow” and drive an RC Truck Pull to simulate the ABAC Truck and Tractor Pulls that the school hosts throughout the year.
Six ABAC students; Denver Cameron, Loren Lindler, Charley Lollis, Meredith McGlamory, Katibeth Mims, and Shelby Mumma spent their time working at the ABAC building. These students were in charge of all things ABAC happening at the expo. The team delivers attention to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
ABAC showcased its past as well as its present. There was an alumni section set up with yearbooks for people to look back on former students. Present students and ambassadors shared what they love about ABAC. The ABAC building was also able to introduce ABAC to others who may not have known of it and all it has to offer.
The Sunbelt Expo also has a dairy barn and horse barns that are used for demonstrations and shows throughout the expo.
Georgia FFA Association also has its annual State Tractor Driving CDE. High school students from across the state compete in safe tractor operations in hopes of making it to the National competition in Indiana as a part of the National FFA Convention.
New attendees and Expo Alumni seemed to have had a great time, full of educational experiences. From over 300 different demonstrations and seminars on equipment to electrical safety demos for children of all ages, there is something for everyone at the Sunbelt Ag Expo.
Attendees do not have to be farmers looking for new equipment as this farm show is open to the public. For those that missed out on this year’s expo, there will be another opportunity to attend next year’s expo on Oct. 20-22 in 2020.