By Clint Thompson
Farmers, industry leaders and exhibitors flocked to the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GCREC) in Wimauma, Florida, on Wednesday for the annual Florida Ag Expo.
Attendees were treated to educational sessions designed to help producers manage their crops more efficiently while preparing them for future success. They also had the opportunity to converse with 75 exhibitors during the trade show.
It was another successful Florida Ag Expo, says Josh McGill, show director.
“I think this event is key for growers in this area, one that vegetable and specialty crop growers across the state look forward to,” McGill said. “Not only were there great educational sessions, but it was a great opportunity for them to get out and meet with some of the vendors that they work with. We had a great tradeshow this year. It was the most booths we’ve had so far, so that was exciting. We had a great crowd turnout and just really a great show overall.”
Breakout sessions focused on pest management and the breeding programs at the GCREC, and there was a field tour in the afternoon.
Eric Johnson, retail market manager with FMC, discussed the benefit of attending this event, which he’s done for the past decade.
“There’s a good mix of growers and retail partners that come through here. I can see a whole bunch of folks in a day. Normally it might take me a week or month to get around and see all of those people,” Johnson said. “We usually also have some research out in the field. I can go and see our products in the field and talk through that with the researchers and get some input from them and also talk with the growers about what they’re seeing and what their needs are.”