Ag. Fest a money maker for Southwest GA

One of the biggest events in Southwest Georgia kicked off Tuesday. Organizers say the Agriculture Expo in Moultrie isn't just for farmers, it's an economic boost for the entire region.

James Ulmer made the drive down from South Carolina for this year's Sunbelt Ag Expo.

"We wanted to see what was going on and what was the latest thing in agriculture so we can see whether we need to update and see what's going to be on the market," said Ulmer.

In its 34th year, the expo is one of agriculture's biggest events in the country.

"We have 1,200 plus exhibitors, that's within 100 acres and the 600 acre farm site," said Gina McDonald of the Expo. "We also expect over 90,000 folks over the course of the three days, so it's a tremendous size show."

Even though it's only three days, it brings in millions of dollars for Southwest Georgia.

"The individuals that come at expo, don't spend money just at expo. They're staying in our local hotels, motels, eating in our restaurants and of course getting gas. I think the last count that we had was $16.5 million, so a nice little shot in the arm," said McDonald.

While it is raining right now, it is a drought year and that's hurts farmers. And that means a lot of people are looking at products that can increase their yield and save them money.

"Anytime you can squeeze more yield out of your acre for the input cost means more money in your pocket as a farmer," said farmer Stephen Meinhardt.

"Farm labor goes up, fertilizer seed goes up and the farmer has to be able to adjust to all the increases, but his price very seldom increases," said Ulmer.

That's why many of the vendors and exhibitors are also marketing their products as cost savers for farming consumers.

The show runs through Thursday at the Spence Field in Moultrie.

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