A $ billion-plus and counting

December 9, 2019Doug Peters, President and CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

A billion is a big number.

And that number plus some, in U.S. dollars, is massive as it relates to the Big Country economy.

I’m speaking of course about agriculture and its impact on our region.

Think of it. If you’re not directly in the agriculture industry yourself, odds are you can still think of dozens of local businesses – your friends, neighbors and others who benefit by some relationship with agriculture. In short, it matters. In Taylor County alone, agriculture accounts for nearly $41 million annually and directly in the areas of hunting and recreation, cow/calf stockers, wheat and hay and ensilage.

It matters so much, in fact that your Abilene Chamber has proudly showcased and promoted the people, products, services and interests of agriculture multiple ways – through the outstanding work of the Chamber’s agriculture and, by extension through it’s longest-running farm and ranch show in the state of Texas.

The 2020 Texas Farm, Ranch & Wildlife Expo (TFRWE) will be held Tuesday, Feb. 18 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday, Feb. 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Taylor County Expo Center, Abilene, Texas.

Of all of the great work the Chamber undertakes on behalf of its members each year, the Texas Farm, Ranch & Wildlife Expo is among those I look most forward to. Maybe it’s all the shiny objects – maybe it’s the great, hardworking people – maybe it’s the content. Whatever it is, it’s a great event.

Sponsored by Lawrence Hall – Abilene, the TFRWE is a program of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Taylor County. TFRWE has more than 120 Exhibitors and approximately 4,500 visitors and we expect an even larger crowd this year!

The Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association will hold its annual meeting during the show and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will sponsor and conduct training courses during the show. We will also host our Annual Chamber Agriculture Scholarship Luncheon sponsored by Capital Farm Credit featuring Bob Phillips from Texas Country Reporter where the Agriculture Family of the Year will be announced.

The Town and Country Women’s Fair to be held on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

In addition – we are excited to have Cedar Ridge Aviation as a special feature at the show. Cedar Ridge Aviation offers feral hog removal from the air and will have one of their helicopters on site. Local high-tech trappers will be on-hand as well.

I dare to say that if it’s ag-related, you’ll find it at the TFRWE. Block one of the two days off and join us. You’ll be glad you did.

Care to put your company’s thumbprint on agriculture and the show that helps to bring it all together? We also still have sponsorship opportunities available. Doing so is easy – simply reach out to show director Kim Bosher at kimbosher@abilenechamber.com or by calling her at the Chamber.

Agriculture is serious business with a serious impact on our region’s economy.  The history of agriculture is profound and reminds me of one of my favorite sayings – “if you got dressed or ate today, thank a farmer and a rancher.”

We’ll see you at the show in February.



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