Farmers & ranchers gather for North Platte expo

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP)- Freezing temperatures didn't stop the agriculture industry from gathering today for the North Platte Farm and Ranch Expo.

Board members for the event commented that this was one of the biggest turnouts they've ever seen at the expo. They said that the cold weather may be to thank since people don't want to be outside.

Randy McNitt, salesman at Plains Equipment Group remembers when the expo used to be held outdoors. "For what the weather was, we had a good turnout yesterday. Of course being in the business 20 some years you get to know a lot of people. It's exciting every year, I think this is what, my 24th show. When we first started this they were outdoor at the fairgrounds," comments McNitt.

New technologies in machinery, seeds and animal genetics were featured at the expo's 115 booths.

Rick Funston, a beef cattle reproductive physiologist for UNL Extension, assists ranchers by researching beef cattle patterns.

"It's bull sale season now, and calving season is starting. So we look at nutrition prior to calving and how that impacts calves later in life. We've done a lot of research on fetal programming, showing that if we don't supplement cows on winter range,for example, that they breed fine. But it has an impact on heifer fertility of the calves, and carcass weight and carcass quality," said Funston.

Old and new agriculturalists alike say that they always look forward to the annual event, and this year did not disappoint.