More than a dozen tractors and just about everything else farm-related will be on display today and Friday during the fourth annual Ag Expo at the SunDome.
The event is geared to promote the latest technology, equipment and information in the farming industry and more than 100 exhibitors are expected, said event organizer Kelly Gasseling.
An unmanned mini helicopter equipped with monitoring devices will fly overhead and record the activities below. The helicopter can be used by farmers to monitor crops and shoot video for potential buyers, she said.
RDO Equipment of Sunnyside is bringing 15 tractors — some equipped with video monitors and CD players. “You talk about implement dealers, flat screens, CD players in tractors, it’s just a completely different animal than it was 20 years ago,” she said. “Farmers come in and see the latest technology.”
The event has added new exhibitors each year, including Cabela’s this year.
“We have a broad focus just because we want to have something for every farmer,” she said.
Today, Simplot Growers will hold grower classes. Friday, solutions to powdery mildew and mite infestations will be aimed at hop growers.
Speakers include experts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Oregon State University and Washington State University. Also, the winners of the 2013 Aggie Awards will be announced, honoring people, businesses and organizations that have contributed to agriculture and local communities.
This year, the event also ties into the 25th annual Hoptoberfest, a dinner to raise funds for the American Hop Museum in Toppenish. Door prizes include a $750 gift certificate to Cabela’s.
A beer garden will be on tap and Legends Casino will host dice games in which winners will receive tickets to the Professional Bull Riders rodeo competition at the SunDome in February. A silent auction will also be held.
“We’re trying to do fun things like that to make it fun,” she said.
• Phil Ferolito can be reached at 509-577-7749 or firstname.lastname@example.org.