What will this new year bring for ag equipment makers? Exhibitors at the AG CONNECT Expo in Florida said they were optimistic, given the relative strength of the ag sector to the general economy, which itself seems to be improving.
AG CONNECT Expo is in its final day in Orlando and organizers tell Brownfield it’s been a success. This is the first year of AEM’s (Association of Equipment Manufacturers) global trade show that has more than 7,000 attendees. AEM vice president of ag services, Charlie O’Brien says initially they thought they’d have higher participation but didn’t expect to be in a recession. So, given that, he says the show has done very well, “We are extremely pleased with where we ended up with the attendance and the exhibitors. I think if you talk to the exhibitors they are pretty pleased with the attendants and the quality of attendants. So, I think we’re sitting here pretty happy with what transpired here.” There are more than 300 exhibitors at the show.
And, O’Brien says, clearly, the decision makers when it comes to ag machinery and equipment are represented at AG CONNECT, “Eighty-percent of the people here are saying they’re definitely involved in the farming operation decision making.”
O’Brien says they’re also pleased with the industry support of the show. People from 49 of the 50 states and from 62 foreign countries have participated in AG CONNECT 2010. The 2011 show will be held in Atlanta next year, January 7 through 10th.
A delegation from Nigeria is making connections in Orlando to develop their agriculture industry. Nigeria used to be a big net exporter before big oil was discovered there in the 1970s. Now, the populous African country is makng a push to develop its commercial ag industry to improve their food security and their export market. The head of the public/private partnership, Pacesetter Farms Limited, is former Nigerian Agriculture Minister Bamidele Dada. He tells Brownfield they’ve found what they need here at AG CONNECT Expo - the top equipment dealers in the world, the latest in ag technology developments and connections for their goal of integrated, commercial farming in Nigeria. The next stop for the Nigerian ag team – Washington DC to meet with USDA officials and more potential investors.
TeeJet Technologies introduced its 570G guidance device at AG CONNECT Expo in Orlando last week. Brownfield’s Julie Harker talked with Richard Gould, Tee Jet Vice President and Guidance Business Manager, about the new product that has a video function and other features that he says will help improve efficiency.
Titan (Goodyear) Tire sales rep in Iowa, Skip Sagar, tells Brownfield they’re very optimistic about the new year. Titan unveiled its new products, like the OptiTrack design, and new concepts at AG CONNECT Expo in Orlando last week. Sagar says Titan is focused on agriculture and construction markets only and is committed to quality.
Organizers of AEM’s AG CONNECT EXPO 2010 in Orlando, Florida – now underway through Friday – say North America needed a global agriculture trade show.
The head of a leading worldwide ag equipment manufacturer was one of those pushing for just such a show. He’s Martin Richenhagen, President and CEO of AGCO – makers of Massey Ferguson, Hesston, Fendt and other leading brands –He was chairman of the board last year of AEM – the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, “We have the best farmers in North America, in the U.S. We have all the leading manufacturers in the U.S., but, unfortunately the big farm shows are in Germany and France and I said to myself, ‘This is wrong.’” So, AEM decided to change that – and model the show after Germany’s AGRITECHNICA which is organized by that country’s non-profit equipment association – Richenhagen says like Agritechnica, AGCONNECT will reinvest the money back into the show to improve it every year, “And this is why we go into a partnership with AGRITECHNICA (which) will be a minority shareholder of this show (AG CONNECT).”
Officials say attendance at AG CONNECT numbers well into the thousands. Official numbers will be released Thursday.
Next year’s AG CONNECT EXPO will be in Atlanta, Georgia.
The education opportunities at North America’s global trade show are immense. AG CONNECT Expo has positioned itself as more than a machinery trade show but as North America’s global ag trade and education show. Here at the first-ever AG CONNECT Expo, participants have been able to learn from the experts in education breakout sessions and learn from each other in the “networking zone.” Education sessions include Renewable Energy sponsored by 25 x25, Technology sponsored by the PrecisionAg Institute, Farm Management, Family business Management, Risk Management, High Yield and planning for success, sponsored by a number of ag groups and publications. There are also field demonstrations at some Florida farms. Next year’s AG CONNECT Expo will be in Atlanta, Georgia and be back in 2013, in alternating years with its partner, Agnitechnica, Germany’s premier global ag trade show.
I caught up with a couple of dairy farmers who traveled over a thousand miles – from Somerset County in Western, Pennsylvania, to Orlando, Florida for AG CONNECT Expo 2010. After a rough 2009, Edward O’Brien and his friend are hopeful for this year – and want to see better dairy prices. They came to Orlando to learn about the latest equipment and technology.
Hot topics in agriculture are front and center with the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers which sponsored an Ag Equipment Technology Conference at AGCONNECT EXPO on Tuesday. Conference Chairman Chad Yagow tells Brownfield they went beyond the power machinery side of the ag industry to talk about the broader ag issues, such as renewable energy, “The sugar industry and how that might tie back into renewable energy, we’ve got some speakers on wind energy. We’re talking about using forest products for renewable energy. So, just a broad range of applications.”
When it comes to another key issue, climate change, Yagow says there’s a wide range of opinions within the A-S-A-B-E. But they’re all aiming for the same thing, “Climate change is one of the foremost topics we talk about within ASABE and power machinery is trying to figure out – how do we participate in that, how do we play in that and how do we do it as a global citizen?”
Yagow says the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers is about food, fiber and energy production. They are one of many groups represented at the AGCONNECT EXPO which runs through Friday in Orlando, Florida.
A global agriculture trade show that’s been years in the making is underway in Orlando, Florida. AGCONNECT EXPO show director Sara Mooney tells Brownfield that 20-percent of the attendees and exhibitors here at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ AGCONNECT 2010 EXPO are from overseas, “A lot of the leaders in the industry and AEM members really felt that it was time for a global market place, a global forum in North America.”
Mooney says AGCONNECT EXPO is about new products, networking, education – learning from the experts, “so there’s going to be a lot for producers to take back right away and apply to their operations.”
Lots of new product launches are expected during these four days. More than 300 exhibitors are set up at the show. Today is a preview day for top producers and dealers to meet one-on-one. The show runs through Friday at the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, Florida.