The San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show, in cooperation with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Department of Agriculture, has announced its schedule of activities and educational seminars for its 2010 expo.
This year’s show, which takes place Oct. 14-16, will offer approximately 40 educational opportunities for attendees, according to Byran Davis, AgriLife Extension agent for natural resources in Bexar County and lead coordinator for the show’s education tracks.
"Along with various educational sessions to benefit farmers and ranchers, this year we've added some designed for individuals involved in agricultural commodities industries," said Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agent for natural resources for Bexar County.
This year's show will include a South Texas Commodity Symposium hosted by the Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, Texas Corn Producers, Texas Wheat Producers, South Texas Cotton & Grain Producers, Texas Rice Growers, Texas Peanut Producers and Texas Citrus Growers, according to show coordinators. Hundreds of farmers from these associations are anticipated to attend the show.
Davis said educational sessions will range from 45-90 minutes long, depending on the subject matter. Educational topics and issues include the benefits of using the Web Soil Survey, working with U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service and Farm Service Agency, ground-water issues, feral hog management, calf pulling, grape varieties and production, a fever tick update, the Texas AgrAbility Project, ranching along the border, using contract labor and lease considerations.
"The show will have educational opportunities for attendees seeking continuing education credits or units, as well as for those who are simply interested in learning about methods, equipment and technology to help improve their operations," he said.
Some of the credits or units to be offered will include beef quality assurance credits, Texas Department of Agriculture private applicator units and certified crop advisor units, Davis added.
"Lyle Larson and Jeff Lynch, who are coordinating the show, said they wanted to be sure to include some demonstrations in this year's educational offerings," said Davis. "So we decided that during each of the three show days there would be a live demonstration of cattle chute equipment and a demonstration of low-stress deer husbandry."
Davis added that most educational opportunities for agricultural commodity groups would take place during the morning of Oct. 15. The symposium will begin at 8 a.m. and will be followed by a presentation by Texas Comptroller Susan Combs on the future of the state's agriculture tax evaluation. Combs will be followed by Joe Outlaw, an AgriLife Extension agricultural economist, who will give an agricultural policy update. Then Juan Garcia of the USDA's Farm Service Agency will present updates on that agency's programs. The morning programming will conclude with a round table discussion on water issues.
At noon on the same day, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is scheduled to present "The Legislative Prospective on Water," an overview of the state’s water resources and the laws and regulations concerning them.
Along with AgriLife Extension, other agencies or businesses involved in coordinating and presenting educational sessions at the show include the Texas Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Texas Animal Health Commission, Farm Service Agency and San Antonio Water System.
In addition to the educational programs, the show will have displays, booths and exhibits by more than 350 vendors, plus fun and interesting activities for attendees and their families, according to Lyle Larson, one of the show’s originators.
This year’s show also will have championship tractor pulls on Friday and Saturday nights, plus wine tastings, ATV safety demonstrations and other activities, Larson said.
"The 2010 show will be even bigger and better than the 2009 show,” Larson said. “And with the completion of the Expo Hall Annex, which was under construction last year, now we’ll have more than 150,000 square feet of climate-controlled exhibition area under one roof, making this one of the largest climate-controlled agricultural exhibit locations in the nation."
Larson said show hours this year will be from 12-8 p.m. on Oct. 14, and from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Oct 15 and 16. Admission is free, and parking is $5 for each day attended.
For more information on scheduled show activities and exhibitor or sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.farmandranchexpo.com  or call 210-226-1177.