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Skaggs: Sunbelt Expo is a must-see for farmers
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Catch a glimpse of farming in the future this October at the South's biggest and best farm show. The Sunbelt Expo is the world's largest farm show with on-site row crops and field demonstrations. During the show's three days Oct. 19-21, the latest technology from the agricultural industry will be on full display near Moultrie for all to see and evaluate.

Unique among farm shows, Expo features exhibits that appeal to farmers and nonfarmers alike. Some of these include all- terrain vehicles, automotive, lawn and gardening, hunting and fishing, family living and a daily parade of antique tractors.

What modern farm show would be complete without precision farming exhibits? Farmers can hop aboard new tractors equipped with auto-steer and global positioning systems in the always-popular ride and drive area. Exciting new field demonstrations that illustrate recent technology are on the schedule as well.

Agricultural researchers and educators from Land Grant Colleges and Universities throughout the Southeast are helping to enhance the efficiency and profitability of agriculture and related industries.

Visitors can ride a tram from the exhibit area to the fields where cotton, peanuts and hay are harvested. These harvesting demonstrations as well as tillage demonstrations and irrigation technology provide an opportunity for attendees to see and compare a wide range of equipment and methods in a working setting.

Animal agriculture displays expand each year at the Expo. You'll be able to take in demonstrations, exhibits and seminars for beef cattle, dairy, poultry and aquaculture. Horse and equine-related activities have expanded in recent years to include a variety of horse and rider competitions.

Goats and alpacas are other farm animals featured at Expo, along with some of the smartest and entertaining dogs to be found anywhere. Border collies will be rounding up sheep and cattle in an annual Expo tradition, the American Grand Finals stock dog competition.

Gardening enthusiasts can learn from the masters. A wide range of green thumb topics will include fruit and vegetable production and various landscaping topics. From farm to market, garden to field, classroom to home, the Expo truly offers something for the entire family.

The Expo's permanent home is Spence Field, a former airbase on 1,680 acres. The Expo is located four miles southeast of U.S. 319 on Ga. 133. Show hours are 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $10 per person per day, with children ages 12 and under admitted free with an adult.

For more information, visit the Expo website.

Billy Skaggs is agriculture agent and County Extension Coordinator for the UGA Cooperative Extension in Hall County, 770-535-8293.