Officials from the state of Georgia, Fort Valley State University, the University of Georgia and members of the Georgia Spotlight State Planning Committee pose for a photo in the new Spotlight State Building at the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition in Moultrie Oct. 14.
Fort Valley State University's College of Agriculture employees rubbed shoulders with thousands as an exhibitor during North America's premier farm show Oct. 14-16.
The show known as the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition is an annual three-day event at Spence Airfield in Moultrie, Ga. During the expo, visitors can participate in field demonstrations and visit exhibits showcasing the latest in agriculture and new technology. The expo is in its thirty-seventh year.
For three days, FVSU highlights research and Extension programming through it exhibitor building and recruits Future Farmer of America students and 4-H students on site in the Morton Exposition Building. Visitors also receive a literal "taste" of what FVSU's College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology has to offer by sampling goat products such as burgers, barbeque and ice cream.
In addition to the exhibits, the Expo chooses a spotlight state. This year Georgia was the official Spotlight State. To help celebrate the occasion, a ribbon cutting ceremony marked the grand opening of the new Spotlight State Building on Oct. 15.
The building is the result of a collaborative project that involved Georgia agribusinesses, government agencies, the University of Georgia and FVSU.
"When you have the University of Georgia, Fort Valley State University and the (Georgia) Department of Agriculture working together to really enhance agriculture from an educational perspective, the Spotlight building was right on time," said Dr. Mark Latimore Jr., Extension administrator for FVSU's College of Agriculture.
Latimore also said FVSU was involved in the project from start to finish due to its involvement on the Georgia State Planning Committee. Marquinta Gonzalez, director of agricultural communications at FVSU, and Ayanna McPhail, director of FVSU's Agricultural Technology Conference Center, are members of the committee that helped develop and organize the grand opening.
"The committee decided to leave a lasting and permanent legacy with Georgia being the host state of Sun Belt Ag Expo," said Carla Wood, director of special events for the University of Georgia's College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and committee chair. She said the committee took pride in what it was doing and wanted to show its hard efforts and how much it believes in the Sunbelt Ag Expo with the opening of the new facility.