One of the most prominent landmarks in Salinas, Calif., is the Salinas Sports Complex, home of the annual Salinas Rodeo on North Main just off Highway 101.

The expansive rodeo grounds will be the new site of this year's Salinas Valley Farm Show scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 2.

“The move to the rodeo grounds from the community center next door will give us more room for booths, but more importantly will allow equipment demonstrations adjacent to the exhibitors,” said show chairman, Don Ostini.

Gonzales Young Farmers took over exclusive sponsorship and show management two years ago and the show has grown each year since. Western Farm Press is a show co-sponsor and official publication of the only farm show serving the high value California Central Coast agricultural industry which totals $6 billion annually in farm gate receipts.

Booths will circle the main grandstands of the rodeo grounds with indoor booths in exhibit halls beneath the grandstands.

“We will be able to use the entrance to the rodeo arena and the arena itself for product demonstrations,” said Ostini.

There should be more than 100 exhibitors at this year's shows.

Better layout

“We have enjoyed strong community support over the past two years and we are looking for an even bigger and better show this year in the new facilities. Many of our exhibitors have been very loyal, and we think we are rewarding that loyalty with a better show layout at the rodeo grounds,” said Ostini.

John Inman, retired University of California agricultural engineer farm advisor and now a consultant will once again chair the educational seminars.

The Monterey County chapter of the California Agricultural Production Consultants Association is also planning another continuing education seminar for pest control advisors.

More than 1,000 people attended the show last year, and Ostini is hopefully that will increase sharply with the new facility.

“I think people will be able to move more freely among both indoor and outdoor exhibits,” said Ostini.

“We worked hard at publicizing the show and that proved invaluable in getting the support we have seen the last two seasons. We will continue that for 2003,” said Ostini.

While the show is a fund raiser for the Young Farmers community projects, Ostini said it is more than that.

“We think it is an opportunity for the agricultural industry on California's Central Coast to come together as a community event,” said Ostini. “That has happened, and we think the show will only grow from the success we have seen the last two years.”

Gonzales Young Farmers is a 60-year-old organization that gives more than $7,500 annually in scholarships and provides manpower and financial support for events like the Gonzales Community Fair and the Monterey County Fair Livestock Judging Contest.

e-mail: hcline@primediabusiness.com