Educational sessions to tractor pulls and wine tastings …

Educational sessions to tractor pulls and wine tastings …

2010 San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show will have it all

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio International Farm and Ranch Show, to be held Oct. 14-16, has added several new features for attendees and their families, according to show coordinators.

The show will take place on the San Antonio Livestock Exposition and Freeman Coliseum grounds, 3201 E. Houston St. and One AT&T Center Parkway. Admission is free, with show hours from 12-8 p.m. on Oct. 14 and from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Oct. 15-16.

“We are excited that during this year’s show we will be hosting the South Texas Commodity Symposium with the Texas Corn Producers, Texas Grain Sorghum Producers, Texas Wheat Producers, South Texas Cotton and Grain Producers, Texas Rice Producers, Texas Peanut Producers, Wintergarden producers and the Southwest Council of Agribusiness,” said Lyle Larson, the show’s founder. “We’re inviting over 10,000 commodity group members to participate in this year’s show.”

Larson added that the show will offer educational sessions providing several continuing education units or credits to attendees.

“We also will have live cattle-chute demonstrations and live deer-handling equipment demonstrations to be conducted twice daily, plus ATV safety presentations and demo rides will be available throughout the show.”

Tractor pulls, free health screenings and wine tastings also will be offered at this year’s show, according to organizers.

“Between the farm and ranch equipment and services displays, the more than 30 educational sessions and the variety of other entertaining activities we’re offering, we’ll have something for everyone at this year’s show,” said Jeff Lynch, a show coordinator.

Lynch said he expects the two championship tractor pulls offered at this year’s show to be especially popular with attendees and their families.

“We’re presenting what we’re calling a Texas Tractor Pulling Extravaganza at 7:30 p.m. on the evenings of Oct. 15 and 16,” he said. “Friday night, the extravaganza will feature 50 of the best Antique Division 2 and 3 tractors in Texas. And on Saturday night, the Texas Truck and Tractor Pullers Association will show some of the most powerful pro-stock tractors in the state.”

Lynch added that he expects attendees also will enjoy the show’s wine tastings, which are scheduled for 4, 5 and 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

“There are some excellent wines made in Texas and through the Texas Department of Agriculture’s GO TEXAN program, this will give attendees a chance to sample some of them.”

Bryan Davis, AgriLife Extension agent for natural resources and one of the show’s educational coordinators, added that one of the new educational opportunities at this year’s show will be a session for prospective wine-grape growers.

“Of course, we’ll still have our popular wildlife, cattle and other agriculture-related educational sessions,” Davis said. “But along with the new live deer and cattle-management demonstrations, we’ve added new sessions to address groundwater issues, renewable energy, contract labor and migrant workers, the Texas AgrAbility Project and many other topics of interest to farmers and ranchers.”

Lynch said he and other show presenters have been working in conjunction with the national AARP-Walgreens Wellness Tour to offer free health screenings to attendees during the show.

“Many of our attendees are busy with their farm and ranch operations or might live in an area where they don’t have an opportunity to get a basic health assessment,” Lynch said. “And while this free screening isn’t intended to be a substitute for seeing a medical professional, we hope it will provide some useful health-related information to show attendees who use the service.”

Lynch also noted that he and other show coordinators are looking forward to the 2010 show and the use of the additional space provided by the completion of the Expo Hall Annex.

“This will bring the total amount of enclosed exhibition area to more than 150,000 square feet, making it one of the largest climate-controlled agricultural exhibits in the U.S.,” he said.

Lynch also expressed appreciation to Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, the Texas Department of Agriculture, AgriLife Extension, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Texas Animal Health Commission, Farm Service Agency and Texas Water Development Board for their cooperation in this year’s show.

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