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Portland: FarWest 2015

Well, why WOULDN’T they call it “The Biggest Show In The West”? FarWest Show was the quintessential gathering for the nurseryman (and nurserywoman…. no no, nothing to do with babysitting little kids or pre-school education), providing everything you come to expect from a green industry expo This was the show at which to discover new nursery- and retail-focused products, equipment and services, find new popular plant varieties and network with thousands of top industry professionals in the heart of nursery country. Edibles, we learned, are all the rage; consumers have been installing raised beds, planting vegetable gardens and getting in on the “grow-your-own” movement. Vegetables were hot, as breakthroughs in breeding have indicated, but consumers seem to be demanding more — and going beyond just growing their own. This year’s Growers Showcase highlighted all of the “Edible Delights” that have been getting ’em salivating in today’s garden industry. Hot vegetables, you say? Appetizing…. #FarWest2015

Check out this fabulous video from the Bougainvillea Growers Intl:

St. Louis: Grain Elevator and Processing Society – GEAPS

GEAPS stands for Grain Elevator and Processing Society, the self-proclaimed “only individual-membership organization in the grain operations industry, dedicated to providing  members with forums to generate leadership, innovation and excellence in grain-related industry operations”.   It was in 1927 when two elevator superintendents first started talking about launching an organization to help them deal with the operations challenges of running their grain facilities.  Now thirty GEAPS chapters are engaged in providing a forum for some 2,400 members across the U.S. and Canada. Those and other participants around the world exchange ideas and information through an array of programs and services including conferences, seminars, trade shows and publications.  GEAPS membership network comprises some 16 countries.  How GEAPS delivers the knowledge for each core competency can vary widely. However, it’s important to note that the new vision defines GEAPS as primarily a knowledge resource.  How much do we love knowledge?  A whole geap… er, heap, I should say…  #GEAPS15

Las Vegas: Ground Water Expo – NGWA

The NGWA (National Ground Water Association) Ground Water Expo was held in Las Vegas for the first time since 2012 — not inappropriately, since the Desert City is one of many Western population centers worried about where their water supply will come from in future.  Over 5,200 registered delegates put in an appearance during the show.  The Expo’s 309 exhibitors occupied 71,600 square feet of exhibit hall space, and there were, we were told, 41 first-time exhibitors, which is ten more than in 2013.   The NGWA Activity Area made its debut in the exhibit hall, with 30-minute offerings for attendees to learn skills applicable to their job. The sessions were divided into five stations: The Office, The Well, The Aquifer, The Pump, and Safety Through Leadership. The show offered a diverse collection of educational offerings with, 10 professional development categories. Many of the educational sessions were standing-room only and featured lively discussions.  So hey, what is “ground water”, anyways?  Same difference as “ground coffee”, maybe…?  #groundwater

Orlando: The Landscape Show – FNGLA

The Landscape Show’s identifying initials are FNGLA, which in full spells out Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association.  FNGLA is Florida’s oldest and largest association targeting the needs of the Florida’s environmental horticulture industry, which has an estimated $15.2 billion in industry-wide sales annually. There were over 6,500 green-fingered attendees, all there to attend the southeast’s premier landscape and horticulture conference and trade event. The Landscape Show featured over 200,000 square feet of trees, shrubs and equipment from nearly 450 exhibiting companies. This show offered a complete cast of plants, trees, palms, landscape equipment, hardscape products, irrigation, production equipment, business services and garden center supplies.  Dig deep, and you could discover the best new garden and horticultural looks, talent and ideas the industry has to offer.  You dig?  #LandscapeShow

Saint-Liboire: Expo Champs (Salon de l’agriculture)

Comment allez-vous?  Welcome to Canada for the Expo Champs Salon de l’Agriculture…. You know all about it, right?  Oh, okay, you don’t speak French…  Well, “Champs” has nothing to do with champions or championships or boxing or anything, it means, like, fields.  As in “agribusiness”, which is what this thing is all about. And to prove it, the whole huge show was held in, well, big fields.  You could check out corn harvesters, a pneumatic sowing machine for “intensive tillage”, forestry-management products like wood-chippers and log-transport hoists, stuff like that….  Oh, you want a tractor?  You’re right, the search for the perfect tractor for your farm can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, regardless of your level of experience operating a tractor, this show offers you the chance to test-drive the tractor or farm machinery you need.  Whadd’ya mean, the seat’s kind of hard?  Okay, okay, let me go find you a blow-up cushion….  #salonagri2014

Regina: Western Canada Farm Progress Show – WCFPS

WCFPS is the Western Canada Farm Progress Show, and it claims a track record of staying on top of economic shifts, changing demographics, emerging issues and advances in technology in a fast-moving industry. The Farm Progress Show purports to be Canada’s largest trade show, a farm technology event that annually attracts 45,000 visitors from around the globe. It’s the place to be for opportunity, innovation and excitement, we heard. The International Buyers Program was a feature that set the WCFPS apart from other shows of its kind, with international guests and buyer delegations from over 50 countries matched up with the products, services and suppliers that they required. Organizers highlighted the new facilities and programming that added value for stakeholders, from exhibitors and sponsors to the visiting public. The country’s leading manufacturers were there to meet international customers and the country’s top farmers face-to-face in one marketplace.  Wait, that’s not a farm animal, it’s a  moose…  #CFPS14

San Antonio: Commodity Classic

Commodity Classic is billed as “America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused convention and trade-show”, and farmer-focused folks turned out in force to attend the general session, trade show, educational sessions and association policy meetings.  With more than 7,300 total attendees, the 2014 Commodity Classic convention and trade show broke all previous attendance records for this landmark agribusiness event.  The general session featured a panel of top commodity leaders, keynote remarks by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and an inspirational and humorous presentation on “Happiness” by Brad Montgomery.  Program emcee Mark Mayfield inquired about why so many farmers play an active role in the greater industry both by participating in Commodity Classic and joining NCGA in record numbers.  Well, if Brad Montgomery had it right, it was because “It made them happy…”.   #Classic14