SAN ANTONIO – Preparations are well under way for the first San Antonio International Farm & Ranch show to take place Oct. 8-10 at Freeman Coliseum and its surrounding grounds in San Antonio, Texas.
"Texas is a worldwide leader in agriculture, so it makes perfect sense to have the Lone Star State host an international farm and ranch show," Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said. "I have traveled the globe promoting Texas agriculture, and this event will be a great venue to lay out the welcome mat and show the world what Texas has to offer."
The show will have an extensive educational program in addition to showcasing the newest products and technologies in the farming and ranching industries, said former Bexar County Commissioner Lyle Larson, one of the show's primary coordinators.
Larson added that having the show in San Antonio also will provide a unique experience for visitors' families.
“Our city provides a variety of fun and interesting tourism and recreation opportunities, including the River Walk, Alamo and missions, SeaWorld and Fiesta Texas, plus shopping at Rivercenter Mall, La Cantera, The Quarry and other retail centers,” he said.
Larson said show admission will be free, making it even more attractive to U.S. and international visitors.
“This will be a truly international show and will present a wide range of agricultural and agribusiness products and services, as well as address issues of interest to farmers and ranchers in North America and beyond,” said Jeff Lynch of San Antonio International Ag Promotions.
The 175-acre show complex has more than 1 million square feet of indoor display area, including more than 30,000 square feet of floor display space inside historic Freeman Coliseum, Lynch said.
Some of the organizations involved in show planning and coordination include the Freeman Coliseum staff, Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, he added.
Ken Weidenfeller, Texas Department of Agriculture regional director in San Antonio, said in addition to encouraging GO TEXAN partners to participate in the vendor-exhibit portion of the show, the department will be offering continuing education units to attendees.
Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agent for natural resources in Bexar County, said the show's free educational seminars will address a wide variety of topics including: the U.S. Farm Bill; tillage and irrigation technologies; livestock fertility management; precision agriculture and GPS technology; new seed developments; alternative crops; biofuels; water and sustainable agriculture; farm alternative energy; beef production; sheep and goat marketing; nature-based tourism; whitetail deer management; feral hog control; and other risk management, marketing, livestock and wildlife education tracks.
"We expect this show will be a comprehensive, educational experience of the highest caliber,” added Seth Terry, county agriculture program coordinator for the Texas Farm Bureau, who assisted with initial show planning and curriculum selection.
Show organizers said they have received good response from agricultural and agribusiness product and service providers wanting to be show exhibitors or sponsors, but there are still opportunities available.
For more information on the show and related educational, exhibit and sponsorship opportunities, call 210-226-1177 or go to: www.farmandranchexpo.com.