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What I Know For Sure

January 29, 2024Doug Peters, President & CEO of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce

I’m always stumped when I run into a friend and they ask me, “what do you know for sure?”

There are days when I could answer that question a thousand different ways. On the other hand, in an uncertain world, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to provide a concise answer at times.

Sure, there’s the low-hanging fruit – I love where I live, I have a great family, I’m lucky to be surrounded at work by some of the most creative and motivated people on Planet Earth. You know. All the things.

But every year at about this time, I’m reminded of one other thing I know for sure.

And that is that there’s a reason why the Texas Farm, Ranch and Wildlife show is the longest-running agriculture show in Texas.

There are a lot of reasons.

But let me share just a few.

First, we West Texans love our agriculture. Not because it’s where our meals and clothes come from.  Sure, that’s an important reason. But it’s far from the only reason.

It’s also not because we have some of the most beautiful countryside. Maybe it’s just me, but I love the expansive skies and the scenery that surrounds us as Abilenians.

And let’s not forget about this:  that West Texas grit comes from somewhere. I give a lot of credit to our West Texas farmers and ranchers. They’ve helped make us who we are.

Here’s what I do know for sure about the TFRWE, as we know it around the Chamber.

This show, now in its 24th year, comes together every year and proves without exception to be the biggest and best.

Seriously. And that doesn’t happen by mistake.

How is that so, you ask?

Let’s start by the incredible passion of the people who come together every year, and contribute their time, expertise, and resources, to help us put it all together. You probably know who they are. They’re some of the smartest and most tired people in the region.

They know their stuff. They live it.

And you can see what I’m talking about in just a few short weeks at the 2024 edition of this well-known exhibition.

From the Taylor Telecom Arena at the Taylor County Expo Center, this show is, well, bigger and better than ever.  More than 120 unique exhibitors in an expanded space highlighting the newest, best, and most sought-after products and services for farmers and ranchers anywhere.

There’s continuing education, a Women’s Fair, exhibits galore, and some of the coolest people I’ve ever met. If you’re looking for cool and hardworking people on February 29 and March 1, I suggest you look here.

There’s also our Agriculture Legacy Luncheon, which brings us all together to celebrate those who truly make their mark in the agriculture industry. You won’t want to miss this always-sold-out event.

None of this would be possible without the show’s underwriters.  These are the people and businesses who understand and celebrate the industry, and we couldn’t be more grateful for them.  When you see Lawrence Hall Abilene, Crown Powersports, TSTC – Abilene, Rentech Boiler Systems, Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, Pest Patrol, KTXS, J Harvey Investments, LLC, The Shed Market, Office Depot Office Max, Guitar Ranches, Abilene Equipment Center, StoneX, Jackson Brothers Feed and Seed, 96.1 Q Country, please thank them.

New this year is the addition of the Ag Mechanics component. Schools from across the state will bring their best and brightest (and most skilled) ag students to compete for prizes.  It’ll be held on the grounds at the Guitar Arena, just steps from this amazing show.

And please – if you’re able – consider contributing a product to be used as prize for these kids who are competing.  We’d love to show off your brand as we reward these future farmers and ranchers for their ingenuity and quality work.

And so that’s what I know for sure.  I know you won’t want to miss this year’s show.  And all the fun that comes with it.  Or the people who will be there.  Or the product that’s been developed and delivered by our friends and neighbors.

I’ll see you at the show – if not before.

And as always, thank you for supporting the Chamber, our mission, and our great community.  You’re truly why we’re here.

Onward!

Doug

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