19th Annual Ag Expo Estimated To Draw 10,000-15,000

January 14, 2005 – Posted at 5:44 p.m. CST

POPLAR BLUFF -- It's an agricultural tradition in Region 8. Friday, Ag Expo 2005 opened its doors at the Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff.

"We'll have about 10,000 people coming to the Black River Coliseum for these two days," said Ag Expo Chairperson Phyllis Flanigan.

And if you want to know anything about agriculture, Poplar Bluff is the place to be.

"We always have good attendance every year, regardless of the weather," said Doug Jackson, manager of Magee Farm Equipment, "It's packed like this from the time we get here until we close it Saturday afternoon."

Event organizers say every year the Ag Expo gets just a little bit larger and in the 19th year, there are more than 118 exhibits on display.

"There are lots of different exhibitors. We have most of our farm machinery present, farm implement companies, fertilizer dealers.... it's really just a great year," said Flanigan.

"You have other things here at the Ag Expo besides agricultural exhibits. You're seeing more and more technology as things develop. You just see more and more people here every year," said Sheila Bauschlicher of Riceland, "And it's nice to know that we've been a part of it since the very beginning."

And there's truly something for everyone. From beauty pageants, to tractor pulls, even a cow-milking contest.

"We're always trying to offer new events. Of course, our Ag photography is one of the new events this year. We've got several entries with that event. We're always looking for something new that will bring folks in," said Flanigan.

Ag Expo 2005 continues Saturday from nine until three at the Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff.