Farmers are facing another uncertain crop year ahead with concerns about weather, supply chain issues and increasing production costs top of mind. In times of uncertainty, farmers need all the certainty they can get to navigate the challenges that come with producing crops and livestock.
And that’s where the Southern Farm Show comes in: Provide a venue where farmers can see the latest in farm equipment and technology and plan ahead for the new crop year. That was the purpose of the very first Southern Farm Show in Atlanta in 1967 and for the first farm show held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh in 1978.
Just as they rely on the right tools, supplies and equipment to succeed, farmers rely on the Southern Farm Show every year to plan and get the job done.
“Both technology and relationships are key to farming. Farmers rely on the latest technology to get the job done, but they also need the support of their suppliers, Extension agents and other experts to be profitable. They need a place where they can get together in one location for the insights and information they need to succeed. That’s why they come to the Southern Farm Show every year,” says Show Manager David Zimmerman.
The 2023 Southern Farm Show is set for Wednesday, Feb. 1 through Friday, Feb. 3 at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Show hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. Admission and parking are free.
With more than 400 exhibiting companies, the Southern Farm Show is the largest agricultural exposition in the Carolinas and Virginia. More than 30,000 normally attend the three-day event.
A highlight of the show will be the Ag Development Forum set for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 2 at the Holshouser Building. The forum is sponsored each year by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and features Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler’s annual “State of North Carolina Agriculture” address.
Invited speakers will focus on the latest trends in North Carolina agriculture and an economic outlook will be presented. The forum concludes with a sponsored lunch and is open to all attendees.
A popular annual event at the Southern Farm Show, the Breakfast with the Commissioner, is held each year to benefit the Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly. It’s also held to recognize an outstanding leader in North Carolina agriculture. This year’s honor is going to Dr. Robert “Bob” Patterson, a well-known and respected agriculture professor who has taught at North Carolina State University for 54 years.
This year’s breakfast will be held on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 am in the Hoshouser Building. For details and tickets for the breakfast, contact the Tobacco Farm Life Museum at 919-824-3131, or visit their website at www.TobaccoFarmLifeMuseum.org.
The North Carolina Growers Association (NC Growers) will hold their annual meeting at the Southern Farm Show for the second time this year. The meeting, which is open to their 750 farmer members, will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday Feb. 1 in the Holshouser Building. NC Growers Deputy Director Lee Wicker says the meeting will review the 2022 season and provide members a look ahead to 2023 with discussions on compliance best practices and the possibility of new legislative opportunities.
The Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina will once again hold its annual membership meeting at the Southern Farm Show. The meeting is set for 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3 at the Holshouser Building. An economic and policy outlook will be presented, and the meeting concludes with a catered lunch.
Now in its 43rd year as a part of the Southern Farm Show, the Future Farmers of America Tractor and Truck Driving Competition will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2 in the Hunt Horse Arena, and will again be sponsored by Kubota and Chevrolet.
The South Atlantic Woodsmen's Association (SAWA) returns to the show with their popular lumberjack, chainsaw, and woodsmen demonstrations. Their performances are sponsored by Stihl, which will again be at the show with their selection of forestry products. Demonstrations will take place three times each day on the Midway area of the fairgrounds near the show entrance.
In addition, Brothers ‘n’ Bluegrass, a show favorite since the very first Southern Farm Show, returns as part of the Farm Credit Show, sponsored by the Farm Credit Association of North Carolina with performances at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day of the show in the Graham Building.
The Southern Farm Show concludes with the always popular Southern National Draft Horse Pull and Coon Mule Jump at the James Hunt Horse Arena. Advance tickets are available in the Graham Building during the Southern Farm Show.
For more information on the Southern Farm Show, call (800) 849-0248 or visit the show website at www.SouthernFarmShow.com