SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference Registration Increase

Randall Weiseman Florida, Georgia, Specialty Crops, Vegetables

The SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference is pleased to announce that over 1,200 growers and suppliers have pre-registered to attend the conference at the close of the pre-Christmas registration. This is more than a 30% increase in grower registration over the same period last year. In 2008 the total attendance for the conference was 2,027 including growers, exhibitors and educators.

The 2009 SE Regional fruit and Vegetable Conference is a high-quality education program and trade show to be held in Savannah, GA, on January 9 -11, 2009 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. The event, sponsored by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and the South Carolina Peach Council, offers informative workshops, classes and demonstrations designed to bring the most up-to-date and relevant information to the fruit and vegetable industry.

The conference, currently in its 11th year, offers some of the most informative educational sessions available for fruit and vegetable production. During the two-day program, over 60 hours of commodity specific production training, pest management information and marketing updates are offered to attendees. Commodities include peach, vegetable, Vidalia onion, watermelon, muscadine, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry and pecan. In addition to the commodity production sessions, special Good Agricultural (GAP) Food Safety, Organic Production and Roadside Markets sessions will be held. Continuing education credits are available.

Other special events are planned for the conference as well. In addition to a Food Safety Focus Forum and a General Session featuring Keynote Speaker Congressman Jack Kingston (GA – 1st District), an Industry Roundtable is planned for both growers and suppliers to discuss issues of mutual concern. This forum provides input for the 2009 Program of Work to be adopted by the GFVGA Board of Directors in February 2009.

The 2009 Trade Show, held in conjunction with the education sessions, offers an exciting assembly of vendors and suppliers to the fruit and vegetable industry. With over 150 companies already committed to the conference, the 2009 Trade Show will provide attendees the opportunity to compare products, talk with industry representatives, observe demonstrations, network with other growers and learn about the latest in fresh produce technology.

Other events during the conference include a Friday night reception and live auction on the trade show floor, a Saturday night reception and raffle drawing at the Westin Savannah Harbor and a silent auction held during the trade show. A spouse program, featuring a design and the comedic stories of The Artist Mark Ballard, is available on Saturday morning.