Sunbelt Ag Expo set to celebrate 45th anniversary show
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - WALB’s Jim Wallace sat down with Executive Director of the Sunbelt Ag Expo Chip Blalock to highlight 45 years.
The 45th year. The question is why is education so big a part of the Sunbelt AG Expo?
“Education is really the foundation of the Sunbelt AG Expo,” Blalock said. “Everything we do at the show and on the research form throughout the year is geared toward giving that information to our farmers. We try it and through it bring the information during the show so they can come and gather information. To take back their operation to enhance their economic and environmental sustainability, that is enhanced with all of our great university partnerships. We have 6 universities that have permanent exhibit buildings at the Expo and in no certain order. Those are Clemson, ABAC, Auburn, Georgia, Fort Valley State and University of Florida. In addition to those, we also have exhibits from Florida A&M, Tuskegee, Alabama A&M and. North Georgia College this year, And of course Southern Regional Technical College in Moultrie.”
Why do they feel like they need to be there permanently?
“It’s a great recruiting tool the for the main part to get students interested at a early age in their respective university,” Blalock said. “So when they graduate from high school they can make plans to go on to the to the next level at one of these colleges or universities.”
And that education in ag is needed right now by this industry.
“All that’s needed so we have a shortage, we need more AG specialist, whether it’s in crop protection, irrigation. AG lending. AG mechanics, you name it. There’s a need for it,” Blalock said.
And that’s part of the Sunbelt AG Expo. Every year is pushing agriculture ahead and this is a big, big part of.
“Absolutely. I tell people all the time we work together with all the universities that one Saturday a year we want to beat each other in football and another 364 days we’re working together to continue to help these farmers efficiently and environmentally productive to feed the world,” Blalock said.
And that’s the most important part of that agriculture right now.
“You betcha. We’ve got good job security. People got used to three meals a day and clothes on their back and Roof over their head,” Blalock said.
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