The UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension team is proud to present the Panhandle Fruit and Vegetable Conference on Monday, Feb. 19 and Tuesday, Feb. 20 at the University of West Florida, located at 11000 University Parkway. This will be the second installment of the conference, which was created by a team of UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Agents and occurs every 18 months.
This event will provide a great networking space and share practical farming knowledge that can help farmers across the region. “Our event will feature leading experts in fruit and vegetable production, hands-on learning and an educational farm tour,” said Matt Lollar, horticulture agent for the UF/IFAS Jackson County Extension, and one of the event organizers. The conference sessions will focus on six main tracks: marketing/business, food safety, fruits and nuts, North Florida citrus, protected agriculture, and vegetable production.
The conference keynote speaker will be Joy Rumble, Ph.D., from the University of Florida’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Rumble’s talk entitled “What’s Your Story? Closing the Farm to Table Gap Through Storytelling," focuses on strengthening your farm’s marketing plan. Her research focus is effective communication and raising awareness of agricultural and natural resources issues within the agricultural industry. She is a key contributor to the initiatives of the UF/IFAS Center for Public Issues Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Registration includes refreshments, lunch, farm tour supper, educational materials and transportation to farm tour sites.
Full conference registration also includes a pre-conference tour. On Monday, Feb. 19, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., registered attendees can take an additional tour to explore the many aspects of Southeast fruit and vegetable production. The pre-conference tour will travel from UWF to family-owned Sirmon Farms in Daphne, Ala.; then to Allegri Farm Market, also in Daphne; and the tour will conclude at the Gulf Coast Research and Extension Center in Fairhope, Ala. with supper at the center.
Come network and learn with other farmers, IFAS Extension and Research Personnel and other industry representatives.
Learn more about the conference program and register online, click here
. Early bird registration fee is $50 plus a $4.84 processing fee until Sunday, Jan. 31, and $60 plus a $5.39 processing fee after that. For more information, contact your UF/IFAS County Extension, call 352-294-1692 or click here.
Partial support for this event is provided by a FDACS Specialty Crop Block Grant.