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FLORENCE — Farmers, get ready. The eighth annual South Carolina AgriBiz and Farm Expo will take place Jan. 15-16 at the Florence Center.

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This year’s expo will feature two main speakers, and both days will start with a breakfast. On the first day is the Farmer Appreciation Breakfast at 8:30 a.m., and on he second day is the annual Commissioner’s Breakfast, which is a fundraiser, starting at 8 a.m.

The two-day event is expected to draw thousands of farmers and agribiz industry people from all over South Carolina and neighboring states to the Florence Center. It is a great networking opportunity for farmers, male and female, of all ages and those with interests in the agricultural industry.

Admission is free to all events except the Taste of South Carolina on the first day and the Commissioner’s Breakfast on the second day.

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The expo celebrates the state’s largest industry — agriculture — with more than 100 vendors participating in the trade show, five educational tracks with speakers talking about forestry, the poultry industry, fruits, vegetables and alternatives, women in agriculture and one of the state’s newest crops, hemp.

Jody Martin, the executive director of the expo, said speakers will be on hand to showcase what’s new in the farming industry. Farmers will be able to learn from experts in their field of interest.

He said there will be 45 to 50 educational sessions.

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The event will also offer farmers a chance to view the latest technology in farming equipment and products as well as choose from educational tracks to participate in.

Educational tracks for the 2019 expo on day one are “Carolina Hemp Conference,” “Fruit, Veggies and Alternatives,” “Forestry,” “Women in Agriculture” and “Youth Day.”

Day 2 will include “CAMM Conference,” “Carolina Hemp Conference” and “Fruit, Veggies and Alternatives.”

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Some of the session topics are “Potential Opportunities and Resources for Agritourism,” “Money Does Grow on Trees: Alternative Income Sources in Forestry,” “Composting Methods & Systems/Site & Pad Requirements/Compost Marketing,” “Keeping Your Crop Safe to Eat (Fruits and Veggies),” “ Blueberry Production in S.C.,” “A look into the Christmas Tree Industry,” “Hemp Economics and Budget,” “Hemp Disease Diagnosed to Date,” “Let’s Regenerate with Hemp” and “When is the Next Beetle Outbreak Coming?”

Each day there will be Lunch 'n' Learn breakout sessions where visitors can grab their lunch and head to a discussion on a topic of their choosing.

There will be indoor and outdoor exhibits.

Trade show hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday. The educational tracks are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The Taste of South Carolina and the Commissioner’s Breakfast are ticketed events. The Taste of Carolina, from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 15, is $25 per person, and the Commissioners Breakfast, from 8 to 9 a.m. on Jan. 15, is $35 per person or $250 per table.

The Florence Center is at 3300 W. Radio Drive in Florence.

For more information on the AgriBiz & Farm Expo, visit SCAgriBizExpo.com.

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