The 76th Annual Agricultural Trades Show kicked off in Augusta today. The show draws thousands of people each year.
Samantha Howard, Agricultural Promotions Coordinator says, “There are 120 vendors on the floor with different products focused to support the agricultural industry and also products that people can use in agriculture.”
The three day event focuses on local, quality and sustainable Maine food. Governor Paul LePage says he thinks agriculture is truly the future of the state.
The event also draws attention to the growing agricultural industry in Maine. Governor LePage says, “Agriculture in the state can become a major industry. We can have the local farms that are growing. I see downstairs cheese and wine and I’ll tell you, what else do you want in Maine, right? Cheese and wine and the sun of summer.”
The maple syrup industry was a staple of growth in the state this year. Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry report that maple syrup production has more than doubled and the number of taps has increased more than 25 percent.
Miguel Ibarguen, a Sales Representative with CDL Maine says, “Maple syrup in Maine is kind of a hidden industry. We have a very huge potential to be basically the leader, if not the leader. It’s the second biggest producer in the U.S.”
The Trades Show lasts through Thursday and is free to the public. Howard says, “The point of the show is networking and bringing people together, educating them on the newest and best things in the industry to make the industry better.”
For a full schedule of events you can visit the website.
Trades Show floor hours:
Tuesday, January 10, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, January 11, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, January 12, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.