The 68th Annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show will be held at the Augusta Civic Center Tuesday, Jan. 13, through Thursday, Jan. 15.

More than 5,000 people from around the state are expected to attend the show, one of the state’s largest agricultural events.

Hosted by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources, the show will feature dozens of lectures, demonstrations and meetings involving some 40 major agricultural organizations, committees and agencies, as well as over 100 exhibits.

The three-day event has something for everyone, providing an atmosphere for everyone to educate themselves about the different areas of agriculture.

Not only does the show furnish a showplace for farmers and producers to check out the most up-to-date farm equipment and farming needs, it also provides an opportunity for networking and exchanging ideas. It also offers a wealth of knowledge for non-farmers to learn about agriculture and how locally grown food is harvested and processed.

Whether you are a farmer, a hobbyist, an educator, or supplier, simply coming together keeps Maine agriculture strong. With economic troubles a growing concern, the benefits of local agriculture are even more important.

A popular topic featured this year is energy. The cost of farming is being significantly impacted by the cost of energy. Discussions concerning what farmers can do to conserve and produce energy on their farms will be presented.

Other topics concerning farm energy will be wind power and an overview of energy crops. A variety of videos on marketing, on-farm energy, vegetable production techniques, and other topics will be shown throughout all three days.

Other topics to be covered in presentations during the three-day event range from new farm marketing strategies to current agricultural issues, floral design, and woodlot management.

Show hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 14, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15. Admission is free all three days.

For a complete program and schedule, visit www.getrealmaine.com. For more information about the show, call 287-3491 or e-mail getrealmaine@maine.gov.