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OCED plays a part at the 2019 World Ag Expo



From Feb 12-14, 2019, OCED staff joined 1,452 exhibitors at the 2019 World Ag Expo held at the International Agri-Center.  According to the International Agri-Center®, well over 102,878 attended this years’ World Ag Expo, representing 48 states, and 65 countries.  OCED staff disseminated information regarding three programs during the 3-day event. The first was information regarding the Fresno State Small Business University, specifically the Caltrans’ Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Supportive Services (DBE/SS) Program. 

The purpose of Caltrans’ Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Supportive Services (DBE/SS) Program is to increase the total number of certified DBE firms active in the federal-aid highway construction and professional services industries and contribute to their growth and eventual self- sufficiency. The program includes technical assistance programming and services to DBEs and potential DBEs in Caltrans districts 5, 6, 9 and 10.

Additionally, OCED staff disseminated information regarding the USDA Rural Energy for America (REAP) Renewable Energy program, which includes training workshops and 1-on-1 technical assistance to rural small agricultural producers and other small businesses.  OCED staff provides technical assistance in the preparation of USDA Rural Energy for America (REAP) Renewable Energy System and Energy Efficiency grant applications. USDA REAP grants are available to small farmers to help them retrofit existing irrigation equipment and water pumps with more energy efficient products.

Furthermore, OCED staff disseminated information regarding the US Census to World Ag Expo attendees. Every ten years, the United State Census Bureau comes together to count every resident in the United States, creating national awareness of the importance of the census and its valuable statistics. OCED is taking part in bringing awareness to rural communities in the San Joaquin Valley in order to prepare for the next census coming in 2020.  Counting an increasingly diverse and growing population is a massive undertaking and requires grass roots community efforts to bring awareness on the importance to each community. It requires years of planning and the support of thousands of people. The Census Bureau depends on cross-sector collaborations with organizations and individuals to get people to participate. This is where OCED’s expertise comes into play, community development and mobilizing residents to make positive impacts in their communities. 

“This was a great show,” said Jerry Sinift CEO of the International Agri-Center®. “We had some wet weather, but Ag decision makers [businesses] came out in force to network with exhibitors, research new products and make purchases. World Ag Expo® continues to provide a high-quality platform for agriculture education and industry innovation.” Thus, OCED leverages this platform to disseminate valuable information to small business owners and the public. 

For more information on any of the three programs, please contact our office at 559-278-0542.