Fresh off record-breaking attendance last year, organizers of the Virginia Farm Show are hoping for a repeat performance when the event kicks off Thursday, Jan. 17, at Augusta Expo Land in Fishersville.
The show will run through Saturday, Jan. 19. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
The event, which bills itself as the only agricultural trade show in Virginia catering to both full- and part-time farmers, did just that last year.
Organizers departed from the traditional mid-week Tuesday-through-Thursday run to add a weekend show day for the convenience of part-time farmers who might struggle to get a day off during the workweek.
The move paid off.
“We got a great deal of positive feedback,” said Ken Maring, a trade show manager with Lee Publications, which puts on the event. “The Saturday turned out to be a really good day. The fact that the part-timers were able to get out, we had a record attendance for Saturday.”
Maring said he is hoping for 6,000 to 8,000 visitors, depending on the weather.
Visitors to the show can check out some 120 vendors — from equipment dealers, feed and seed companies and auction houses to insurance companies, solar energy firms and construction companies.
Displays will include milking parlors, tractors and even portable sawmills.
The popular skid steer rodeo also will return this year. The Friday competition, sponsored by the Virginia Farm Bureau, is open to anyone 18 and older with previous experience operating a skid steer or mini-excavator.
Three equipment sponsors — James River, Beverage Tractor and Binkley & Hurst — will provide skid steers and mini-excavators for the event. Cash prizes will be awarded.
New this year will be a booth promoting hunting and fishing in Virginia, Maring said, where visitors will have the opportunity to win daily door prizes, including a Parker crossbow, a Matthews bow and a Savage rifle.
For more information, including a complete list of exhibitors, visit www.virginiafarmshow.com.