A $ billion-plus and counting

Signature Events

November 27, 2023
Staff Reports

A billion is a big number.

And that number plus some, in U.S. dollars, is massive as it relates to the Big Country economy.

I’m speaking of course about agriculture and its impact on our region.

Think of it. If you’re not directly in the agriculture industry yourself, odds are you can still think of dozens of local businesses – your friends, neighbors and others who benefit by some relationship with agriculture. In short, it matters. In Taylor County alone, agriculture accounts for nearly $41 million annually and directly in the areas of hunting and recreation, cow/calf stockers, wheat and hay and ensilage.

It matters so much, in fact that your Abilene Chamber has proudly showcased and promoted the people, products, services and interests of agriculture multiple ways.

We’re proud of this longstanding event at the Chamber and invite you to save the date for the 2024 Texas Farm, Ranch & Wildlife Expo (TFRWE) on Thursday, Feb. 29 and Friday, March 1 to be held in the Taylor Telecom Arena.

Of all of the great work the Chamber undertakes on behalf of its members each year, the Texas Farm, Ranch & Wildlife Expo is among those I look most forward to. Maybe it’s all the shiny objects – maybe it’s the great, hardworking people – maybe it’s the content. Whatever it is, it’s a great event.

Sponsored by Lawrence Hall – Abilene, TFRWE is a program of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Taylor County. TFRWE has more than 200 exhibitors and attendance ranging from 3,500 plus from across the Big Country. And, we expect an even larger crowd this year!

The Rolling Plains Cotton Growers Association will hold its annual meeting during the show and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will sponsor and conduct training courses during the show. We will also host our Agriculture Legacy Luncheon sponsored by Taylor Telecom where the Agriculture Family of the Year will be announced.

In addition – we are excited to have new additions for the 2024 show. After feedback from exhibitors and attendees, you may have noticed the show will be held on a Thursday and Friday to better accommodate exhibitors, hobby farmers, and members of the public. Two additions of major attractions to help increase attendance include a Youth Ag Judging Show in the Coliseum and an Agricultural and Mechanics Project Show in the Guitar Arena and First Financial Pavilion along with a new pop-up shopping area.

I dare to say that if it’s ag-related, you’ll find it at the TFRWE. Block one of the two days off and join us. You’ll be glad you did.

Care to put your company’s thumbprint on agriculture and the show that helps to bring it all together? We also still have sponsorship opportunities available. Doing so is easy – simply reach out to our team at the Chamber here.

Agriculture is serious business with a serious impact on our region’s economy.  The history of agriculture is profound and reminds me of one of my favorite sayings – “if you got dressed or ate today, thank a farmer and a rancher.”

We’ll see you at the show in February.