Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference coming Jan. 9-10

by Aimee Nielson, University of Kentucky

The 2017 Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference will have something of interest for all fruit and vegetable producers. The event runs from 8 a.m. EST Jan. 9 until 5 p.m. Jan. 10 at Lexington’s Embassy Suites Hotel.

Preconference activities on Jan. 8 will include tree fruit, small fruit and vegetable roundtable discussions as well as a plasticulture strawberry short course.

“We always look forward to this conference and to offering many excellent sessions with dozens of excellent speakers,” said John Strang, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment horticulture specialist. “Producers’ management skills are a big key to success with fruit and vegetable production, especially time management. This conference is for beginners and advanced growers alike. We have something to share with everyone, no matter their experience level.”

Participants may choose from several concurrent sessions with topics including farmers markets, commercial fruit and vegetable production, greenhouse and high tunnel production, small fruit production, organic production, direct marketing, the Grape and Wine Short Course, direct and wholesale marketing, food safety and processing, and a What to Think About Before You Plant workshop.

Participants will also get to enjoy Kentucky Proud products at the exhibitor/grower and conference luncheons as well as to visit with exhibitors at the trade show.

The conference is a joint meeting of the Kentucky State Horticulture Society, the Kentucky Vegetable Growers Association, the Organic Association of Kentucky and the Kentucky Wineries Association.

Participants may attend the optional Commissioner Cup Wine Tasting at 6 p.m. Jan. 9, which will feature Kentucky 2016 Commissioner’s Cup Award winning wines. The $20 cost for the event includes a souvenir glass and refreshments.

Participants will have an opportunity to use a Trading Post bulletin board to sell used equipment.

Conference registration is $40 per person and includes a one-year membership in the Kentucky Vegetable Growers Association, Kentucky State Horticulture Society or the Organic Association of Kentucky and entry to the Grape and Wine Short Course. Strang recommended preregistering by Dec. 16 to ensure nametags and conference materials for participants. Registration is also available at the door.

The UK Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky State University and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture jointly sponsor the conference.

For more information about the conference, or to request registration materials, contact Mary Ann Kelley at 270-365-7541, ext. 216. The conference program and registration sheet are available online at http://www.uky.edu/hort/node/1724.

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