They trudged through the mud and braved the rain but visitors dressed to be dry. The Expo grounds were packed as usual.
World Ag Expo Chairman Bernie Cargle said, "We look at this not as rain but maybe liquid sunshine because we need the rain here in California. We hate to tell it to go away."
Exhibitors come here to stand out from the crowd.
Auto Farm specializes in hands-free precision Ag. GPS allows farmers to steer tractors, spreaders and sprayers from a touch screen.
Jason Kidd of Auto Farm explained, "Being able to steer within an inch of a line at night, in heavy fog, dust, whatever the conditions may be, yeah it's really gonna pay dividends."
Auto Farm was voted one of the Expo's top ten new products. So was "Hoof Supervisor," a computerized data recording system which monitors a dairy cow's health while its hooves are trimmed. Product Specialist Keith Sather said, "It's all about keeping our cows healthy and the best way to do that is to monitor how their hooves are doing."
The rain actually helped some exhibitors by moving the crowds indoors. People were more focused on getting to the next covered area. But the rain didn't bother Kyle Forester of Porterville. "Nope not at all. Used to the rain."
Chairman Bernie Cargle worried the recession might hit the World Ag Expo especially hard but the number of international visitors is actually higher this year.