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      Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show attracts farmers, ranchers from across country

      More than 500 exhibitors are drawing in a record crowd for the 2012 Amarillo Farm and Ranch show at the Amarillo Civic Center.

      More than 30,000 farmers and ranchers from Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and even Mexico and Canada have come to the Panhandle to meet with thousands of their fellow producers.

      "Well, first and foremost, they benefit because they're able to see the newest technologies and the latest and greatest machinery and equipment," IDEAg Marketing Director Samantha Kaplan said. "And all the different things that exhibiting companies have to offer. They're here to network and talk with other farmers and other folks in agribusiness, agriculture- crops producers, ranchers- so they can share ideas and talk about what they're doing in their fields."

      Vendors are on-hand displaying their latest products, meeting new customers and renewing relationships with old ones.

      "When we first started showing, we were just displaying all that we were trying to sell," Tow Brothers Equipment Store Owner Mike Tow said. "And then we started having people wanting to buy stuff, so we thought we might as well try to sell things while we're here, too."

      And for those seeking a bargain on agriculture equipment, the Amarillo Farm and Ranch Show is the place to do it.

      "There's always specials," Ochiltree County Farmer Daniel Krienke pointed out. "They have some good deals here."

      Krienke attends the show every year. He said Amarillo is the ideal place to host the event, as agriculture is the backbone of the area and local farmers are always wanting to learn about the advancements made in their industry.

      "We are a farming and agriculture and ranching area," Krienke said. "It's very important to the economy, not only Amarillo but to all the outlying, smaller communities around Amarillo."

      A nd to help the community, a $2 donation is requested at the door- all donations will be given to the local FFA chapters. Thursday is the last day of the show- hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.