Promoting Perryton

Sheryl Hardy, executive director of the Perryton Community Development Corporation (CDC), recently attended the World Ag Expo at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, California, with The High Ground of Texas (see below). Held from February 12 to 14, the tradeshow was a great opportunity to network, showcase our area, and attract prospective companies to Perryton to expand our local economy.

“The agriculture industry makes up the foundation of this community and area. It’s who we are and what we do,” Sheryl says. “The World Ag Expo was a tremendous opportunity to visit face-to-face with those in the agriculture industry, as well as confer with potential clients.”

Because it was an international event, the client base included people from all over the world; however, most of the CDC’s serious, qualified contacts are from California agriculture businesses and farmers. “They are all exceptionally conservative in their views, and they’re having to make serious, challenging decisions regarding relocating. The agriculture sector cannot make a difference in the laws and regulations because of the liberal voters from other regions of California,” Sheryl says. “We really have a lot to offer these members of the agriculture community. We’re fortunate to live in a state and county that supports business and agricultural development.”

Sheryl and the other members of The High Ground of Texas hosted the “Best of Texas” pavilion at the event. It included a tent with a marketing area, media center, Texas Marketplace (which included Perryton’s own Watonga Cheese Factory cheese), a GO TEXAN presentation area, and more. GO TEXAN and the Texas Department of Agriculture provided items and material for the show. The High Ground also hosted their annual tailgate, which always attracts an enthusiastic crowd. “It was a fabulous team that worked the show this year, and we were able to make our presence known in a big way. It didn’t hurt that our governor was in California at the time,” Sheryl adds.

Last year, President George W. Bush attended the show as the featured speaker, and Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples has accompanied The High Ground team in the past as well.

The High Ground of Texas
Developed in 1988, The High Ground of Texas is a regional economic development and marketing coalition representing the northern 66 counties in Texas. The main purpose is to facilitate marketing initiatives that are designed to enhance the economic wealth of the region and to promote the creation, expansion, and retention of jobs and business opportunities. It is a nonprofit, membership-based organization.

Ken Becker, chairman of High Ground of Texas, speaks highly of the people of the High Ground of Texas. “It’s [composed of] people that will overcome insurmountable odds to do what is right for their region,” he says. “It is a place where being concerned about your community is a good thing. It is also a place where people are concerned about their neighbors’ community.”

About the World Ag Expo

The World Ag Expo began in 1968 as the “Tulare’s Field and Row Crop Equipment Show.” Since then, it’s grown to be a 2.5 million-square-foot location for the world’s newest and most innovative technologies in more than 340 agriculture categories. For the last 46 years, it has been the industry leader in agriculture expositions. The World Ag Expo provides a venue where serious agriculture buyers and sellers do business. Last year, more than 1,400 agriculture exhibitors showcased their products to an estimated 100,000 agriculture professionals from more than 72 countries.

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