World Ag Expo to pump billions of dollars into Tulare County

February 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The World AG Expo starts on Tuesday morning, bringing visitors from more than 70 different countries, and pumping billions of dollars into the South Valley's economy.

There's more than 1500 exhibitors this year. Many of them were working late on Monday night, trying to set up their booths and equipment for the expo. It promises the latest in equipment and technology. One vendor says it's everything for the grower, from gardener to farmer.

Bryce Matthews, a Grass Valley business man, came to the Expo to promote his organic fertilizer. He even drank it for us, demonstrating that it's healthy enough to consume.

Matthews says this is his second visit to the World Ag Expo. He tells us, it's the place to be to show off his product and expand his business. "It's like marketing if you get one to 3 out of a 100 you're doing pretty good you do what you can to get leads and follow up with people."

He's not the only one hoping for new connections. Utah businessman David Searle hasn't missed an expo since 1997. "It is the largest show in the nation."

The 3 day event promises the latest and greatest innovations and technology, and inspires people from 70 different countries to make the trip. Communications Director Liza Teixeira said, "Australia, China, Mexico, they come to see the latest in Ag technology and to see what they can take back to their countries and make connections with other countries that will export to them."

Organizers say they sold out on exhibit space much earlier than in years past. They're expecting 100 thousand attendees, most of whom made their reservations a year ago. "There really are no hotel rooms left in Tulare and Bakersfield up to Madera even a couple years ago we were told 3 billion in economic impact to the area."

Teixeira also says even if you don't know anything about agriculture, this is the place to learn and has been for 46 years - and counting.

The expo runs through Thursday.

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