Sunbelt Expo cancels 2020 show
For the first time since its beginnings in 1978, the Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition will not take place. The Sunbelt Board of Directors voted to cancel the 43rd Annual show scheduled for Oct. 20-22. The decision was announced with a press release on July 24.
Sunbelt officials said the Expo staff has worked diligently over the past several months to put together an action plan that would enable a safe and successful show, but concluded that a safe blend of networking, commerce and education could not be done while representing the rich history of the Sunbelt Ag Expo. Additionally, the board’s decision to cancel the 2020 Sunbelt Ag Expo was made out of concern for attendees’ and exhibitors’ expenses and their need to plan.
According to the press release, Sunbelt will continue promoting education and implementation of the latest agricultural technology, research and equipment this fall through its social media channels.
Expo staff will reach out directly to exhibitors concerning fees and plans for the 2021 show.
Events related to the 2020 Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Ag Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year have been pushed back to 2021. Georgia Farmer of the Year Lee Nunn and his counterparts in nine other states will host judges next year and a winner will be unveiled at the 2021 show. A new class in 2021 will not be selected.
“We have considered virtual options for the judging tour and the awards ceremony, but the Farmer of the Year program is not a virtual event,” said Sunbelt Executive Director Chip Blalock. “The program is about so much more – the interaction amongst our 10 state winners and the 265 winners who have been awarded over the last 30 years cannot be replaced. To have a Farmer of the Year class not be able to experience the in-person judging tour, the trip to South Georgia and the Sunbelt Ag Expo is not an option in our book.”
Sunbelt’s Holiday Arts and Crafts Show, hosted by the Sunbelt Ag Expo, is still scheduled at this time for Nov. 14-15.
The Sunbelt Ag Expo looks forward to greeting visitors again in 2021 as it showcases the latest in farming technology, Oct. 19-21.