World Ag Expo began in 1968, and was held at the Tulare County Fairgrounds in Tulare, California. The first show attracted 157 exhibitors and 28,000 attendees. By the second year, the show doubled in both attendees and exhibitors, and continued the rapid growth throughout future shows.
Originally named "Tulare's Field and Row Crop Equipment Show," it quickly outgrew its name, and became the "California Farm Equipment Show" for the second show in 1969. In 1972, the first foreign manufacturers began displaying their products, leading to another name change, "California Farm Equipment Show and International Exposition". The current name, World Ag Expo, was adopted in 2001.
With the increase in international exhibitors and visitors, the United States Department of Commerce sensed an opportunity to enhance the U.S. export trade possibilities. The Department of Commerce designated and publicized the show throughout the world as an official affiliate of the Foreign Buyer Program.
Throughout the 1970s, the show continued to grow, eventually leading to a shortage of space at the fairgrounds. In 1976, the show directors voted to explore the formation of a special corporation that would establish an international agribusiness show place somewhere within the Tulare area. The plan was found to be feasible, and a non-profit corporation was created, International Agri-Center, Inc. A section of the Faria family farm became the site for the new show grounds.
The 15th California Farm Equipment Show and International Exposition opened its doors on the new show grounds on February 9, 1982. This new location provided Tulare with the first facility in the western United States ever constructed to house an agricultural trade show. Throughout the years, exhibitors have found World Ag Expo to be a sound investment in future business at a show devoted to the task of bringing buyers and sellers together.
The International Agri-Center is continually investing in, and enhancing the show grounds to improve World Ag Expo for both attendees and exhibitors. The Farm Credit Dairy Center was completed for the 1991 show, built in response to the growing need for more space for the popular demand of dairy industry displays. The construction of a Building C began in 2012 and was completed for the 2013 World Ag Expo.
For more than 48 years, World Ag Expo has set a standard for agricultural expositions.
View a timeline of the World Ag Expo chairmen history below.
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