The very first California agricultural show of the year is at hand.

The 31st edition of Stockton Ag Expo is scheduled for Jan. 16-18 at the San Joaquin Fairgrounds, Stockton, Calif.

It once again features hundreds of exhibitors showcasing their agricultural equipment, products and services to growers.

This year California Secretary of Food and Agriculture, A.G. Kawamura, will speak at noon on Tuesday Jan. 16, the first day of the show. He will be sharing his thoughts on agriculture and environmental issues facing Californian’s today.

New this year will be the first annual Announcing the First Annual Toy Tractor & Truck Display and Sales. It will be in Building 3.

Also new this year will be the Valley CAN's Energy & Clean Air Business Expo along with the REXPO III. There will be seminars and breakout sessions in Building 5. Topics will include alternative fuels and energies, as well as all the new green practices. There also will be seminars on the latest technologies and up-to-date information on the new laws impacting agriculture, recycling and air quality issues affecting all of California.

In conjunction with this Stockton Ag Expo partner, there will be exhibits on recycled content products, alternative fuels and green practices. For more information about the REXPO please see www.REXPOIII.com.

Stockton Ag Expo is a “regional” farm show, drawing farmers and agri-businesses primarily from Northern California, Oregon, and Northern Nevada.

Latest equipment

Everything in the latest agricultural equipment and supplies needed for farming will be on display. Parts for on-farm repairs may be found alongside new tractors or specialty harvesters for tomatoes. Beans or tree fruit/nuts may be shown next to haying and tillage equipment. Computers and software may be alongside nurseries, seed companies or insurance agents. Every imaginable safety product can be found near farm tires, irrigation equipment, or grower organizations. Grower services include repair shops, accounting firms, pension planners, builders of farm buildings and well drilling.

In recent years, the annual farm show has become a “selling show,” permitting deals to be struck and products sold on the spot.

Programs listing companies, both alphabetically and by booth number, will be available at the entrance gates so visitors may easily find the company or product they are seeking. Also, a list of the day’s activities will be handed out.

Stockton Ag Expo is not all business. There will be extensive exhibit of antique trucks and early day gas engines. The trucks will parade down the midway at 3 p.m. each show day. Most of the trucks are of the variety that helped farmers get their products from their farms to processors or markets. They range from popular Model T’s to early Mack varieties. All are displayed in the middle of the farm equipment show off the midway mall.

The working exhibits of early day gas engines are sponsored by “Chuggers,” a feature at Stockton Ag Expo since its beginning 30 years ago. Set off in the livestock exhibit areas of the fairground, the gas engines and old-time tractor exhibits are easy to locate. Because of their chugging, whistling, and tooting, you need only follow the sounds to find them.

For those of you who are antique truck lovers, Frank Mauro of Stockton Wheel is gathering a bevy of classic trucks that will be displayed in all their glory during the show. You’ll see the pride of their owners dedicated to preserving the past through the restoration of their favorite trucks.

Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 16-17, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 18.

Expo admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-12, and free to those younger when accompanied by an adult. FFA and 4-H students in uniform are admitted free. As always, parking is free at the San Joaquin Fairgrounds, and shuttle buses will operate from the parking lot to the main gate.

email: hcline@farmpress.com