More than 1,000 people attended this year's fourth annual Salinas Valley Farm Show, sponsored by Gonzales Young Farmers and Western Farm Press.

“We had very positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike,” said Gonzales Young Farmers member and show chairman Don Ostini.

The non-profit young farmers group sponsors the show as a fund raiser for its community projects and raised $10,000 from this year's October farm show for scholarships and support for community events like the Gonzales Community Fair and Monterey County Livestock Judging Contest.

The young farmers group took over control of the show after a disappointing 2000 event managed by an outside firm.

“We have the show back on the right track and are looking forward to an even bigger and more successful event next season,” said Ostini.

The 2002 Salinas Valley Farm Show is scheduled for Oct. 3 at the Salinas Community Center adjacent to the Salinas Rodeo Grounds.

Auction

“We are looking at adding a professionally managed used equipment auction. The rodeo grounds provides an ideal setting for such an event and we are looking seriously at sponsoring an auction either the day before or the day after next year's event,” said Ostini.

In addition to this year's farm show, two seminars were held during the show, one on precision agriculture and GPS technology. Salinas agricultural consultant John Inman, a retired University of California engineering farm advisor, conducted it.

“We had good interest in the seminar and that was backed up by two manufactures of GPS tractor guidance systems who had tractors available for farmers to drive at the show,” said Inman. Trimble and Auto Farm had demonstration tractors operating in the adjacent rodeo grounds.

The Monterey Bay chapter of the California Agricultural Production Consultants Association sponsored an afternoon continuing education seminar for licensed pest control advisors.

“Seminar sponsors were hoping to attract 25 to 30 pest control advisors, and they had 60. They were very pleased with the turnout,” said Ostini.

As the official show publication, Western Farm Press provided advance publicity as well as a show program.

“We were very happy with the response we had from Farm Press' publicity outreach. We had several people from outside the Salinas area, and they would not have been there without the publicity provided by Farm Press,” said Ostini.

“We look forward to working with Western Farm Press on next year's show. The publication will once again be the official publication,” he said.

Overall, Ostini said he received positive feedback from exhibitors. “We signed up a lot of this year's exhibitors for next year's event,” he said. “We sold out this year.” There were more than 100 exhibitors.

Ostini said the farm show was promoted as a community event focusing on the Salinas agricultural industry. “And the community truly responded. It was heartening to receive the support we did,” said Ostini.

“We have had some suggestions for improving the show next year and we are going to look seriously at all of them. We only want to get bigger and better,” he said.

e-mail: hcline@primediabusiness.com