Fruit, veggie conference coming in January

Published 3:12 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Growing up on the vegetable farm, I was somewhat unique as a child because I really enjoyed learning more about vegetable production.

Each year my Dad would let me “skip” school to attend the Winter Vegetable Conference in North Carolina. I enjoyed learning new things. It’s not surprising I still really enjoy the annual Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference. This is a great opportunity for any farmer that has interest in producing a fruit or vegetable crop to sell commercially or on a smaller scale at a farmers’ market.

It is a great conference for those that are thinking about producing fruits and vegetables, are beginning farmers in fruit and vegetable production, or experienced farmers. There are topics for all.

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The 2017 Fruit and Vegetable Conference will have many very valuable sessions starting with a pre-conference session focused on Plasticulture Strawberry short course on Sunday, Jan. 8.

Those producing fruits and vegetables for farmers’ market should consider attending on Monday, Jan. 9. There will be an entire afternoon dedicated to farmers’ market production topics. There will be a variety of vegetable production topics as well including an overview of UK vegetable cultivar trial results from the previous year.

The conference will continue on Tuesday, Jan. 10, with concurrent sessions focused on organic production, additional vegetable production topics, tree fruit production and wholesale marketing. In the afternoon, there will be concurrent sessions offered on produce food safety, greenhouse and high tunnel production, small fruit production and a UK Center for Crop Diversification workshop. The trade show is always a highlight of the conference and will be set up throughout. It is a great opportunity to speak with industry representatives, and gain new ideas for producing fruits and vegetables on the farm.

The 2017 Fruit and Vegetable Conference will be at the Embassy Suites hotel, 1801 Newtown Pike, Lexington, off of Interstate 75 at exit 115.

There is a conference registration cost of $40 plus an additional optional cost for meals. Registration will be available at the meeting.

For a complete conference schedule or to ask questions, call me at the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682. The Clark County Extension Office is closed for the holidays from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2 We will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 3.

David Davis is the Clark County Cooperative Extension Service Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources.