January 2015
Farm & Field

Growers Conference

Fruit and vegetable producers will meet in early February.

Press Release from Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Commercial fruit and vegetable production continues to expand in the Southeast. The Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association’s annual Conference and Tradeshow offers producers access to the newest information and research affecting their operations. AFVGA’s conference is set for Feb. 6-7, 2015, at the Marriott Grand National Hotel and Conference Center in Opelika.

Dr. Ayanava Majumdar, an entomologist and commercial horticulture program coordinator with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, said it is a great opportunity for networking.

"Producers will get to meet experts outside of the state of Alabama who they wouldn’t normally get the chance to meet," Majumdar said.

While the conference is geared toward professionals, anyone interested in learning more about fruit and vegetable growing would benefit from attending.

"We are targeting fruit and vegetable producers, gardeners, educators, community leaders and conservation agencies as well as the specialty crop industry by offering a range of educational topics," Majumdar added.

The first day of the conference is filled with keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, educational sessions and grower networking sessions for major fruit and vegetable crops. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 6 and is followed by a general session at 8:30 a.m. and guest speakers at 8:45 a.m.

The workshops begin at 10 a.m. and feature topics ranging from vegetable grafting and transplant production to marketing your farm and beekeeping. The remainder of the day will be filled with educational sessions with breaks so attendees can visit the trade show and network. Some new educational sessions include training for commercial greenhouse and high tunnel crop producers.

"It is an excellent educational opportunity for producers to interact with industry and state leaders in agriculture," Majumdar said.

Registration cost is $100 for the first member and $60 for the second member. There is a reduced registration rate for students and staff from educational institutions. The trade show cost is $250 per booth with one person attending and $75 for the second attendee. Sale of products is allowed at booths. Lunch will be provided.

The second day of the conference and trade show opens at 7:30 a.m. with educational sessions ranging from new beginning farmer to irrigation and food safety. The conference will conclude at 11 a.m.

Registration for members, sponsors and exhibitors is available www.aces.edu/dept/associations/afvga/2015AFVGAconference.php.

A detailed agenda with activities and times for both days can be found www.aces.edu/dept/associations/afvga/documents/AFVGAAgenda2015-forwebsite.pdf.