Dear Growers, Exhibitors, Industry Members and AgNet Media Friends:
Wow! Saying a simple thank you to all of you is not nearly enough. This year’s grower turnout for the 28th annual Citrus Expo, now combined with the Vegetable & Specialty Crop (VSC) Expo, smashed all previous attendance records, as we at AgNet Media continue to read the road ahead and adjust our operations to fit the needs of our grower and industry audience.
It’s a clear indication that when a program for growers is well-planned with thoughtful input, coupled with strong involvement by industry vendors at the trade show and food for all, that good things can happen.
A few things I mentioned following last year’s Expo deserve to be repeated. First, it’s important to understand that AgNet Media is not a membership organization. It is not supported by government grants or other sources of income beyond the support of advertisers, and in the case of Expo, the exhibitors and sponsors who support our efforts. Our modest, family-owned media company is independently owned and operated, focusing on agricultural news and information in the states we serve. Without the businesses who engage with us to reach their clients and customer prospects in our audience, AgNet Media could not exist.
Citrus Expo has been an integral part of Citrus Industry magazine for nearly three decades. It’s a symbiotic relationship in which each relies on the other for ongoing sustainability. At the urging of many of our Expo vendors, last year we started a General Session to open the event. We also added vegetable and specialty crop seminars for these growing sectors, as we brought our new VSCNews magazine into the mix to help us promote and host the event.
This year’s turnout and response to the second year of the combined Citrus Expo and VSC Expo makes it clear the decision to grow the program in this way was a good one. The General Session brought forth great audience response for the in-depth conversations on three top hot topics in the industry: hemp, water and labor. The overall two-day Expo program was fleshed out even better for both the citrus and vegetable/specialty crop sides as well. The new hands-on session for citrus growers to meet one-on-one with researchers and participate in demonstrations made a successful debut with strong attendance. Plans are already in the works to improve this session for next year.
AgNet Media is proud to host Expo for growers and industry. As one of the largest annual seminar and trade show events of its kind in all of Florida agriculture, Expo is open to growers, researchers and industry leaders at no charge for attendance. We are doing our best to keep it that way!
The key to the event’s success lies in the participation of the vendors who exhibit, the sponsoring companies who invest, the growers, farm owners and industry leaders who attend, and the team who pulls it all together.
I can’t say enough about our team at AgNet Media. It’s the best group I’ve ever worked with since the concept for this ag media venture began nearly four decades ago. We call on many industry friends who join us to work hard all week to see that things run smoothly. FFA state officers are a huge help each year, especially with setup, tear-down and registration processes. These newly elected young FFA leaders have been a part of Expo for more than 10 years. We greatly appreciate them and the Expo attendees and exhibitors who support the annual FFA Fundraiser Raffle.
Mark your calendars for Aug. 12–13, 2020. We’ll do our best to again bring the hottest topics to the Expo programs and all of you back to the event for another great grower gathering!
All the Best,
AgNet Media Founder and President