The incidence of recurring visitors is having a positive economic impact on the community, initiated by the first farm show in 1965, then called the Colusa Orchard Equipment Show.  It gave the show its trademark slogan: Granddaddy of Farm Shows.

A more subtle benefit of the shows, particularly Ag Expo, has been the rallying of a corps of 1,400 volunteers who work at their assignments year around.  At show time they flood the show grounds in their characteristic orange jackets, tending to the needs of the 1,450 exhibitors in ways that commercial show grounds in other locations can’t begin to duplicate.

Perhaps one of the major benefits of the contingent of volunteers has been contribution to a community spirit and pride of accomplishment as attendance and  number of exhibitors has increased each year, probably beyond the expectations of anyone who helped plan and conduct the first show in 1967.

Facilities to house and encourage attendance at the two major farm shows have grown impressively.  Both are examples of the subtle, but substantial, way agricultural production contributes to the wellbeing and vigor of communities where it resides.

The Ag Warriors program has been turned over to a national group with similar goals and expectations of those at its founding in Tulare.  It has become part of Ag Careers, an organization seeking employment opportunities for veterans interested in careers in agriculture.

Stability is the name of the game that farmers try to play through adverse weather, floods, drought, plant and animal diseases and pests often divert them.  That’s the kind of stability that has been projected vigorously and continuously through California’s two major farm shows.

 

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