Sponsored by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, The State of Maine Agricultural Trades Show takes place every January and serves as a source for agricultural resources and products.
Celebrating its 75th year, the three-day event provides promotion opportunities for businesses and organizations on the tradeshow floor. To mark the anniversary milestone this year, the expo will host a farm memorabilia auction conducted by the Somerset Auction Company. Items on the block will include vintage signs, buckets and other classic farm-related items. Proceeds from the auction will go to the FSA organization.
The trade show also will have various lectures, certification courses and annual meetings. The event has activities geared towards promoting industry collaboration and progress, said show organizer Samantha Howard.
“This event is really educational for the Maine farmer,” she said. “It allows members of the industry to network. Plus, the meetings are the meat of the show. We always have the pesticide recertification classes, we also have information about organic gardening and farmer. There will be many meetings with great topics to help farmers.”
Howard mentioned that one of the trade show’s mainstays, the Beginning Farmer Resource Network of Maine, will have a presence at the event. The network is a coalition of state agriculture agencies and organizations such as university cooperatives that connect beginning and transitioning farmers to resources for farm businesses.
“This is a topic that affects many farmers,” Howard said. “The Resource Network has spent all year planning for this show. They will have training, proven resources and sessions on business planning and marketing.”
The show is expected to host 110 exhibitors with up to approximately 5,000 attendees to take in nearly 40 individual meetings. Howard noted the feedback from showgoers has been positive.
“People tell us that it’s a valuable show,” she noted. “It allows farmers to grow by receiving great education as well as connecting with others.
“We know they are working all year round and it’s nice to know there are three days when everything will be in one area. The focus is on the farmer and the topics they care about.”
The show will be held from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday, January 12; 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 13; and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Thursday, January 14. For more information about the Maine Agricultural Trades Show, contact Samantha Howard, Agricultural Promotions Coordinator at (207) 287-7620 or by email at Samantha.Howard@maine.gov.