They’re easy to get to if you don’t mind parking amidst a sea of white trucks spread over 120 acres, or traversing more than 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space while breathing in the delectable aroma of grilled ribeye steak.
The 57th annual event is Feb. 13-15 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare. This year’s theme is “The Best Farm Show on Dirt.” Last year, more than 108,000 people from 49 states and 56 countries attended the show and at least as many people are expected this year.
Products and presentations focused on water dominate the show for a simple reason – it is vital to farming.
“The show features a pavilion dedicated to irrigation and water, so there is plenty to see in relation to water,” said Megan Lausten, marketing manager.
While some exhibitors have products with a technological focus, such as filtration, or well and irrigation system monitoring, others dive into the nitty-gritty of well drilling and submersible pumps.
When your feet get tired (and they certainly will) attendees can take a seat in one of the seminar trailers at the southeast corner of the grounds where a host of speakers will be giving the lowdown on water in the San Joaquin Valley.
Speakers apply in the fall, and a committee selects topics based on current issues affecting agriculture.
“The speakers all have a great wealth of knowledge which makes the seminars extremely valuable,” Lausten said.
Some notable presenters include Michael Ming, a land broker from Kern County who will discuss the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act’s effect on land values, and how that will drive alternative uses for farmland. He will speak at 10:45 a.m. Feb.13.
Immediately following Ming’s presentation, Tulare Irrigation District manager Aaron Fukuda is scheduled to explain the decision to emphasize demand reduction rather than building more groundwater recharge in a talk titled “Tulare Irrigation District and Mid-Kaweah GSA Groundwater Sustainability Momentum at a Crossroads.”
Since 2021, the agencies have placed a higher priority on curtailing groundwater use than building recharge projects. By adjusting growers’ pumping allocations, the basin’s aquifers can achieve sustainability more quickly. Fukuda said he will also highlight the successes Tulare ID has had with pumping allocations during droughts and floods.
Those are just two of the dozen water-focused seminars planned over the three-day event.
“Irrigation and water always seems to be a hot topic,” Lausten said.