POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Winter weather doesn't worry those planning the 25th annual Heartland Agriculture and Natural Resources Expo Friday and Saturday at the Black River Coliseum in Poplar Bluff.
"Weather has really been a benefit to us," said Phyllis Flanigan, University of Missouri Extension Council county program director.
Winter weather makes it perfect for farmers to take the time to visit the expo, she said. Farmers, who are not as busy in the winter, use the time to work on their equipment and have more time to come to the event.
The University of Missouri Extension Council and the Three Rivers Community College Agriculture Club, which organize the event, and several local businesses are expecting at least 12,000 people to attend.
"We draw people from Jonesboro and the Bootheel, as well as surrounding counties," Flanigan said. "The goal through all 25 years is to promote agriculture and its importance in this region. Numbers have really increased through the years.
"From the first expo on, it has been very successful due to the hard work of the extension council, extension staff and the ag club at TRCC. When we moved the location from TRCC to the Black River Coliseum we were able to increase the number of booths from 65 to 118 and increase the number of events."
While some come to see equipment and products, others attend for the educational seminars ranging from livestock health to row crop applications to canning food and keeping a garden.
Others want to break the winter blues with the contests for children and adults including duck calling, turkey calling, agricultural and natural resources photography, beauty pageants, a baking contest and others.
If educational seminars or contests are not of interest, a petting farm and livestock exhibit will be open Friday and Saturday, an old-time auction will be held Saturday and entertainment will be offered Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, Twin Rivers Middle School of Qulin, Mo., will dance at 1:30 p.m. and will be followed by the Bluff City Twirlers from Poplar Bluff at 2:30 p.m. Bob and Pam Becker of Rolling Shoals Farm in Williamsville, Mo., will perform from 3 to 3:30 p.m. The Poplar Bluff Jazz Band will play from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The day ends with entertainment provided by the Country Fire Cloggers from Ellsinore, Mo., from 5 to 6 p.m.
Saturday, Tim the Magician will entertain from 9 to 9:30 a.m. followed by the Hillbillie Comedy Show starting at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 10 a.m. Local performer Todd Inman will take the stage from 10 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. and will be followed by Stacy Burge of Fisk, Mo. Bill Board will take the stage at 10:40 a.m. and will turn it over to the RSVP at 11 a.m.
Black River Coliseum, Poplar Bluff, MO