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Great Plains Growers Conference

7:00 am – 3:00 pm
Fulkerson Center
Missouri Western State University
4525 Downs Drive
St. Joseph MO 64507
Sarah Browning, (402) 441-6747,
On Thursday Jan. 10, the conference kicks off with five daylong workshops, including “Cover Crops and Soil Health”; “Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Grower Training”; “Hops Potential”, “Selling Local Foods” and “Honey Bees & Beekeeping”.

Concurrent sessions on Friday and Saturday Jan. 11 and 12 provide more than 50 presentations on a wealth of subjects. In addition to presentations on conventional and organic vegetable production, there will be tracks on tree and small fruit production; organic and conventional vegetable production; season extension; greenhouse and hydroponics; cut flowers and technology for growers.

Keynote Speaker
Friday features keynote speaker Alex Hitt, owner of Peregrine Farms near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The 2.5-acre farm is a diversified operation with about 75 percent of production in vegetables and 15 percent cut flowers, and the rest in small fruit. Alex and his wife Betsy have worked on the farm full time since 1990, with revenue generated through direct sales and a two-day-a-week farmer’s market.

In 2006 Alex and Betsy received the Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture. In 2010 Peregrine Farm was included in the National Academy of Sciences report “Toward Sustainable Agriculture Systems in the 21st Century.”

For the last seven years, they have worked the farm with their business partner Jennie. Alex’s keynote presentation will address Transitioning Your Farm to the Next Generation.

Trade Show
“The trade show is also a big draw for conference participants” said Tom Fowler, a horticulture extension agent in Buchanan County, Missouri. “We had over 50 booth spaces last year that filled the Fulkerson Conference Center and expect the same or more this year,” Fowler said.

Registration & Lodging
Registration, which includes meals and breaks, for the Thursday workshops are $55 per person and $45 per day per person for the Friday and Saturday sessions. Student registration is $25.00/day with valid student identification with the exception of the FSMA workshop which is $55.

Conference hotels in St. Joseph include:

* Stoney Creek Inn, 1201 Woodbine, (816) 901-9600 or (800) 659-2220
* Drury Inn and Suites, 4213 Frederick, (816) 364-4700 or (800) 325-0720
* Hampton Inn, 3928 Frederick, (816) 390-9300 or (888) 370-0981

A full program, registration information and more information can be found at the website: Or on Facebook at @GreatPlainsGrowersConference.

The conference and trade show are a collaborative effort by University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and Research, Iowa State University Extension, Kansas State University Research and Extension, Nebraska Extension and the Produce Safety Alliance.

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This event originated in Acreage.