POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - The annual 2018 Agri Appreciation Expo took place Friday on the Black River Technical College campus in Pocahontas.
Mike Andrews, extension agent for Randolph County, said this is something the Extension Service and the Chamber of Commerce for Randolph and Lawrence Counties hold each year for the farmers.
"It's to show our appreciation for all the farmers," Andrews said. "We started this several years ago and it just kind of keeps growing and growing."
He said they want to help farmers gather information they need to be successful.
"We have our crop production meeting and we have a horticulture meeting and also a livestock meeting. Educational programs are going on in other room," he said. "We bring the farmers and all the businesses here in Randolph and Lawrence Counties, and from Jonesboro and other areas around here to come together and to share and learn about farming."
Andrews said events like this help farmers keep up with a business that's always changing.
"The technology is changing in farming all the time," Andrews said. "The companies come and show their new products, new seed, new chemicals and that type of thing. And the farmers also get an educational program from our extension specialists that are out of Little Rock and Lonoke."
Kristina Young, who manages Powell Feed in Imboden said this is the first year for them to attend the Agri Expo.
"I think this is a great opportunity for businesses to meet new clients and we've been super-excited about being here," Young said. "We've met a lot of farmers and a lot of new potential clients."
Andrews said they work a long time on this event to ensure farmers get what they need out of it.
"This is a yearlong planning process," Andrews said. "We in the extension have committee meetings and we determine what topics the farmers want to hear. So, we're even addressing some of those issues here today through presentations. We can't do it all in one day, but we're covering the major issues that farmers are going to be facing in the next crop year and the next calendar year. So, hopefully, we can provide them some information that will help them in their farming, their plans, and what they're going to do for the year. Of course, farmers have to be very flexible in what they do because we do have floods and droughts and everything. But we're just trying to get them the best information we can out to the farmer."
Andrews said they are already working on next year's event.
"We're asking questions of the farmers today," Andrews said. "We want to see what else we need to do."
Young said she was happy with the event and plans to return.
"I think this is a fantastic opportunity," Young said. "I know that we will be back. We've gotten several new clients and I'm really excited about it."
Andrews said around 500 people attended the event this year.