TULARE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Organizers of the World Ag Expo announced Wednesday that they are planning for the 2021 show with changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic — expect social distancing and lots of hand and surface sanitizing.

Volunteers and staff at the International Agri-Center said they are planning to continue to serve agricultural exhibitors and attendees as the virus continues to change the way people around the world live, work and play.

The center’s CEO said the 2021 edition of the World Ag Expo will include an in-depth digital option for people who can’t make it to the show.

“COVID-19 has affected business everywhere, but ag is essential, so we’re working on safe ways to serve our World Ag Expo customers in 2021,” said Jerry Sinift, International Agri-Center CEO. “We’re planning for an in-person event, but we also know it will look and feel different. And we will have a more in-depth digital option for those who can’t make it to Tulare.”

The International Agri-Center has postponed or canceled all scheduled events held on-site through June as the Tulare County has been hit hard by the virus. Upcoming events are reviewed on a weekly basis to see if they are possible.

Expo officials are working the county’s Health Department and adjusting contract terms to account for COVID-19, said Jennifer Fawkes, Marketing Manager. They are using county health orders to plan for social distancing, determine who will be allowed to attend the event, provide for hand and surface sanitizing, and more.

Operational plans for the expo will not be finalized until closer to the show because the situation continues to change day-to-day.

Fawkes said a virus-related contract addendum will be in place before the end of May to provide a COVID-19 safety net for exhibitors.

“Our cancellation policy has been the biggest question from exhibitors,” she said. “We know these are challenging times for any business and we are adding a contract addendum specifically for COVID-19 for 2021.”

The addendum will be sent to contracted exhibitors and renewing and prospective exhibitors will be able to review the COVID-19 policies before the end of May when completing the space request application at https://bit.ly/WAE21Space.

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