Why did the processor cross the globe? To get to the International Poultry Exposition, which kicks off this January 16 in Atlanta.

Some 22,330 industry members and 1,100 exhibitors from around the world converged on Atlanta's Georgia World Congress Center to attend last year's Expo, and to reflect the international breadth of this annual event, its sponsor, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, has dubbed the 2002 Expo "Connecting the World." As in past years, all segments of the poultry and egg industry will be represented at the three-day Expo, including feed milling, live production, hatchery, processing, packaging, marketing and support activities.

Early birds may wish to attend the International Poultry Scientific Forum on January 15-15, sponsored by the Southern Poultry Science Society, the Southern Conference on Avian Diseases, and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. Likewise, those looking to extend their visit may want to attend the University of Georgia's International Poultry Course on January 19-23 in Athens, Ga. Sponsored by the university's poultry science department, this four-day tutorial is designed for industry experts and novices alike, with specific emphasis on disease control, broiler management, breeder performance, hatchery, nutrition and poultry processing. Participants will have the opportunity to interact with experts and each other during an afternoon "field day" and similar events.

Sidebar: Old South, New South

Forget moonlight and magnolia. The city of Atlanta was founded in the wilds of North Georgia a mere 25 years before the Civil War and, unencumbered by the crinoline traditions of its older coastal sisters, rose quickly from the war's ashes to lead the New South's charge into the 20th Century. As Charleston and Savannah faded into mossy antiquity, it was Atlanta that emerged as the region's center of business and commerce.

It's tempting to say the former rail center never looked back, but it did. In fact, local author Margaret Mitchell's immortal Civil War epic, Gone With the Wind, published in 1936, made Atlanta synonymous with hoop skirts, battered Confederate flags and flame-licked skies -- images that linger to this day.

So, happily, do more tangible vestiges of the city's heritage. The Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum, which features the world's largest painting, "The Battle of Atlanta," transports visitors back to July 1864 with its unique mix of music, art and sound effects. The Atlanta History Center in Buckhead features 32 acres of gardens and wildlife trails amid the 1840s Tullie Smith Farm House; the 1928 Swan House Mansion; and the History Museum, which houses permanent and changing exhibits on subjects such as African American history, the Civil War and the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.

Many Atlanta visitors go looking for the road to Tara, and they can find it in a three-story, Tudor Revival mansion in Midtown where Mitchell lived while writing her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Tours of the Mitchell home are held daily.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District, a four-block area on Auburn Ave., includes the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, as well as the civil rights leader's birth home.

Coca-Cola drinkers should drop by World of Coca Cola, where the story of their favorite soft drink unfolds through exhibits, an eye-popping collection of memorabilia and classic radio and television ads. A fanciful representation of the bottling process and a futuristic soda fountain round out the tour.

Visitors in search of more contemporary diversions will find CNN Center a good place to start; it's just footsteps from the Georgia World Congress Center. A 45-minute walking tour of CNN Studios includes visits to the main news room and a special effects studio. Visitors can also participate in CNN TalkBack Live, an interactive town meeting broadcast daily at 3 p.m. in the Center's lobby.

Just a few blocks away is Centennial Olympic Park, a 21-acre legacy to the 1996 games that is open daily. Its centerpiece is The Fountain of the Rings, which incorporates five interconnecting rings with 25 water jets. It's the world's largest fountain.

Underground Atlanta, a six-block marketplace of specialty shops, restaurants, and street-cart merchants, is located just opposite Five Points Station in the heart of Atlanta.This historic center is the site of the Zero Milepost, which marked the terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad. Although it was also a busy marketplace, the area was eventually covered by raised streets in the early 1900s to contend with traffic and railroad congestion. Today it's a place where commerce, culture and the past intersect--the perfect introduction to a metropolis that once met Sherman's army at the crossroads of history.