Opening Day of the World Ag Expo in Tulare

TULARE, Calif.

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Sunny skies greeted thousands of visitors at the International Agri-Center in Tulare. Exhibitors hope people are in a buying mood.

In the ride and drive area companies were out to bowl over the competition. Folks lined up to put their sports skills to the test.

Nick Larson of Wonder Valley was right at home driving tractors on the John Deere course. He not only scooped up a basketball, Nick then dropped it into a barrel. Larson explained, "Actually the John Deere's pretty great. I usually run Bobcat but I like it, it's pretty cool. I liked the track one."

Others were mesmerized by the John Deere Dragon Fire Tailgator, which comes equipped with a gas BBQ grill. John Deere district manager Mark Bergeron said, "It has two television sets. One facing forward and one facing backwards. There's an Xbox 360 hooked up to it, an iPad, and then a full stereo system on there."

In the new beef and livestock pavilion, technicians showed how sonograms can evaluate the quality of beef produced in a cow.

Clovis cattle rancher Beau Byrd was sold on the Silencer hydraulic squeeze chutes. Byrd said the system keeps cows calmer than traditional methods.

"A lot of them do it the old-fashioned way, rope them. Two people taking them down and doctoring them that way." Byrd said. "It's a lot more stressful for the cattle. Not as safe. Injuries occur frequently. Fingers missing with the ropes and things."

Byrd said people would be surprised to see how much work it takes to get beef on your table.

Organizers also want to make it easier for people in Fresno and Clovis to attend. New this year, you can ride daily shuttles to the World Ag Expo from both Fashion Fair and Sierra Vista malls.

In the videos above:

- Blueberry harvester

- Centrifugal force air induction chamber (air filter cleaner)

- Ag Flag

- Attracting sports-minded visitors

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