Day One of Sunbelt Ag Expo a hit - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Day One of Sunbelt Ag Expo a hit

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

October 14, 2008

MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - Thousands of visitors are in south Georgia for an annual event that farmers from across the Southeast look forward to every year.

The Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition is one of the world's largest farm shows. It was a beautiful and Busy day for the kick off at Spence Field, home of the 31st annual Sunbelt Ag Expo.

The afternoon started with with lunch...fried chicken, pork, green beans, and rice...and politicians like Governor Sonny Perdue and  U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss made appearances to show their appreciation for farmers.

"Anytime you're around a bunch of farmers, you know you're around the heart and soul of America," said Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia.

A few of those southern souls were on stage, as the Southeastern Farmer of the Year announcement was made.  Brian Kirksey of Arkansas was this year's winner. He got to take home a $14,000 check.

But the real excitement was outside. Farmers, adults, and even kids took a seat in the latest tractors and tested out some of the newest farming technology.

"This is about the 7th or 8th time I've been here. It keeps getting bigger and bigger every year," Travis Anderson of North Carolina.

And one of the new events was put on by this year's official Vehicle of the Expo.

"We want to point out to the consumer that hey, if you need a heavy duty work truck, you need a truck that can carry, we've got the truck for you," said Toyota product specialist Melissa Donia.

The Toyota Behind the Wheel Adventure gave people a test drive over the tricky off road course. And people from near and far came to check it out.

"I decided to come out here and take the boys out and see what all was out here," said Georgia native Terry Taughtry.

"It's fall break for my son, school's out so we drove here yesterday and we're going to be here for 3 days," says Rusty Thompson of Kentucky.

So it's one day down and two more to go here in Moultrie. Tuesday's event brought in around 33,000 people. And the crowds are expected to grow Wednesday.

The Expo runs from 8:30 to 5:00 Wednesday and until four on Thursday.

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