January 19, 2007 - Posted at 8:45 p.m. CST
POPLAR BLUFF, MO -- Since 1986, the Ag Expo has been a fixture in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. As one of the largest farm trade shows in Region 8, it's a chance to checkout more than 100 Ag exhibits, a petting farm and take in an educational seminar.
"We started out 21 years ago at Three Rivers Community College with about 65 booths and we were in tents for our petting farm and we moved to the Black River Coliseum and we increased our booth size to about 118 booths and outside exhibits and we do have out petting zoo inside, so everything is really self contained," said Phyllis Flanigan, publicity chair for the University of Missouri Extension Council.
Today, the Ag Expo has more than 12,000 visitors over two days taking in the sights and sounds of the Black River Coliseum.
"It's extremely important. There are always people waiting in the lobby before the doors open and they are always coming in and out. We stay extremely busy with it," said Bonnie Tubb, president of the TRCC Ag Club, "There are really not all that many places in Missouri that do Ag Expos. We're one of the most agricultural counties in Missouri, so I think that's got a good flavor."
Free admission is a big draw for families....along with a chance to check out a traveling aquarium full of Missouri fish.
"We did get the Missouri Show-Me Mobile Fish Aquarium this year and they only go to 20 locations throughout the year and we were lucky to get the first spot," said Flanigan.
Another fresh face this year...Arkansas State University.
"There are so many farms in this area that it is natural. There are a lot of kids that want to farm and they want to do stuff in agriculture and we want to let them have a place to get an education that has to do with agriculture," ASU Department of Agriculture graduate assistant Benjamin Nobles, "I think it's looking good on the future and there is a lot of potential for people to have careers in the future."
"We always try to have new faces to give you something different at the Ag Expo each year and so we have our favorites that come back year after year that we can always count on," said Flanigan.
The Ag Expo is sponsored by the Butler County University of Missouri Extension Council and the Ag Club of Three Rivers Community College. Doors open again Saturday morning at 9 a.m.
Entertainment scheduled to perform on Saturday:
- 9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Golden Road Quartet
- 9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. The Engrams
- 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Black River Coyote Dancers
- 10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. RSVP Chorus
- 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Singing Seniors
Educational programs scheduled for Saturday:
- 9:30 am "The Missouri Fencing Law ," Russell Ramsey, Agriculture Business Specialist, Ellington
- 10:15 am " The Lures of Lake Wappapello," John Daves, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wappapello
- 10:45 a.m. to Noon: Gardening in Southeast Missouri, Poplar Bluff Master Gardeners
- " Butterflies in Your Garden" Sharon Hanley
- " Dry and Arrange Flowers and Foliage" Betty Schalk
- "Grow Native" Barb Gray
- " Landscaping with Hollies and Other Broadleaved Evergreens" Mary Shock
- "Growing Gladiolas" Jane Arnold
- " Saving Seeds" Vanessa Mathis
- 1:00 pm " Save Your Identity and Your Money - Preventing Identity Theft," Rick Proffer, Business and Industry Specialist, Jackson, MO
Ag Expo Beauty Pageants - to register, call (573) 686-8064