The organizers of the Rural America Farm & Garden Expo’s second year decided to change things up.

This year, admission is free. The expo is on a weekend and is a day shorter. There will also be children’s activities both days and a new beef show.

The expo is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 8 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 9 at Jay County Fairgrounds.

Mark Valentine, chairman of the expo and a board member of Jay County Chamber of Commerce, said the show will be beneficial to anyone who works in agriculture or has an interest in the field.

“We have the full lineup of seminars that relate everything from agriculture needs to fertilizers to equine-based seminars,” said Valentine, the owner of Valentine Feed and Supply. “There’s something for everybody.”

The chamber is co-hosting the show, which is in its second year, with the Jay County Purdue Extension office in cooperation with Purdue University.

Two of the main events that should draw visitors in are the beef show and the horse show, Valentine said, which should have an impact on the local economy.

“The cattle and horse show will bring in a couple hundred families that will be eating, drinking, there will be some hotel benefit,” Valentine said. “Most of the vendors are local vendors, they will definitely have a chance to boost their business.”

The beef show will be at noon Sept. 9, with check-in from 8 to 10 a.m. The three categories are breeding heifers, prospect heifers and prospect steers, with a $250 prize for grand champions and $100 for reserve grand champions. The entry fee is $25.

The Bricker Barrel Racing Productions 4-H and Open Show events will open at 6 p.m. Sept. 8. There will be 10 more, including Sizzler, IBRA, GBRA and 4-H classes, over the course of the weekend with action beginning at 10 a.m. Sept. 9 and 10.

Vendors in the 4-H Exhibit Hall and the 4-H Pavilion will be open for business throughout the expo. There will be 27 agricultural and garden-related vendors, many of which are local.

There will also be various workshops and demonstrations throughout the weekend, including a stained glass workshop from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 8 in the Exhibit Hall and pesticide training from 9 to 11 a.m. Sept. 9 in the Women’s Building.

Children’s activities will take place throughout the weekend at Young McDonald Pavilion. Events will include a pedal pull, face painting and a milking demonstration. Valentine said adding children’s events this year should help draw more families to the show.

“(We) put together a tremendous lineup of kids activities that will be available,” Valentine said.

With all the different seminars and activities, Valentine said the expo should be interesting to anyone who wants to learn more about the current state of agriculture in Jay County and on a national level.

“Both people that are active in agriculture as well as people who want to just learn about agriculture need to come out,” Valentine said. “Anyone who has an interest in understanding more about agriculture should definitely come out.”