There were many tractors and loaders filling the McCormick booth during AG CONNECT Expo, and each year about 80 percent of the company’s sales are international. Yet the success of the company wasn’t what was really exciting for Rodney Miller, the CEO. It was the success of the first AG CONNECT Expo. Miller was involved in the 18 months of planning this first American international agricultural show.
“I think we really needed an international show in America for a long time. It’s way overdue,” said Miller. “I think this is definitely a different type of show. It’s on a another level. Education and training seminars are far superior. There’s a lot of connecting points from dealers of the show and exhibit space is much higher caliber. There are a lot of executives here unlike the other shows so I really think this takes it to another level.”
Many people came to McCormick’s booth to encourage them, along with other American-based companies, to invest more overseas in investment and education. While Miller agreed that this should happen, he also said that more international ag companies should consider investing in America’s agricultural industry.
Miller noted that they looked at the show as an investment in the company’s future. While there are other ag shows in the country, he suggested that putting them on a rotating schedule would be more effective since there are so many shows each year. The next AG CONNECT will be held in Atlanta in 2011 but after that the show will only be held every two years.
In closing, Miller said that he’s really excited about where this show will take the industry. “I think this is going to be a good thing for the industry and that is ultimately what we want. What’s good for the industry.”
Listen to my interview with Rodney here.