Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association Annual Convention Stacking Up To Be One For The Ages

Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association Annual Convention Stacking Up To Be One For The Ages

The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) will present a top-notch convention with more information, more networking, and more of everything it’s known for Sept. 23-25 at The Breakers in Palm Beach. FFVA 2015 will feature high-profile speakers, up-to-the-minute Issues Forums, and some fun to mix in with the business of the day.

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FFVA 2015 Annual Convention logoProducers and allied business leaders say FFVA’s convention is the premier agriculture meeting in Florida.

“I get more done in two days of meeting and discussing issues with other attendees than in a week otherwise,” said a participant of last year’s meeting.

The convention provides a backdrop for networking, visiting with old friends, and making new ones. The benefit auction for the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation, a fishing excursion and the golf tournament, will top off the event.

An outstanding lineup of keynote speakers and respected industry experts will give their perspective on some of the most pressing issues Florida growers are dealing with today. FFVA packs a lot into the two-plus days of the schedule, and attendees tell us it’s just the right mix of information, networking, and socializing.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is invited to give his “State of the Industry” address. The presentation kicks off the convention with an overview of challenges and opportunities for Florida agriculture. The energy level is always high coming out of the opening session, and the lineup of meetings that follow keeps up the momentum.

Veteran journalist and TV commentator Tucker Carlson will be keynote speaker at the traditional Cracker Breakfast. Carlson is co-host of Fox and Friends Weekend and the editor-in-chief of TheDailyCaller.com. His credits also include co-hosting Crossfire on CNN, where he was the youngest anchor in the history of that network. He also hosted a weekly public affairs program on PBS. Carlson has reported from around the world, including dispatches from Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, and Vietnam. He has been a columnist for New York magazine and Reader’s Digest. He currently writes for Esquire and The New York Times magazine. He’ll provide perspective and analysis on the presidential campaign, Washington politics and more.

Our Issues forums are not to be missed. Topics covered will be communicating about GMOs, how to take advantage of expanding markets, and the future of agriculture water policy.
“Food Crop Industries and GMO: Talking to a Concerned Public” will cover the strengths and weaknesses of the technology, public perceptions, and how they apply to Florida fruits and vegetables. Dr. Kevin Folta will lead the session. Folta, chairman of the University of Florida’s Horticultural Sciences Department, is a widely sought-after speaker on the topic.
“The Global Market: What’s in it for You?” will focus on how specialty crop producers can benefit from Florida’s strong export position. Attendees will hear from trade expert Dan Sleep, bureau chief of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Bureau of Strategic Development.

And “Addressing Critical Water Challenges” will update attendees on what’s ahead for water policy at the state and federal levels. A moderated panel discussion will focus on the EPA’s newly released Waters of the United States final draft rule.

The Awards Luncheon will feature the Emerging Leader Development Program Class 4 graduation as well as FFVA’s recognition of the Legislator of the Year, Researcher of the Year, and Merchandiser of the Year. Two deserving young people will receive the George F. Sorn Scholarship.

The FFVA board of directors will meet during the convention, and the association will hold its annual membership meeting to elect the 2015-2016 slate of officers and board members.

There’s also plenty of socializing and fun throughout the event. The Chairman’s Reception offers a great opportunity for casual conversation and catching up. Bingo is always a hit for spouses and guests, and the final evening’s dinner with live entertainment brings everyone out on the dance floor.

During Friday’s fishing excursion, anglers will enjoy a memorable morning on the water with great camaraderie and knowledgeable captains. The golf tournament will be held at The Breakers Ocean Course in Palm Beach. With its vintage feel, the course is situated on 140 acres overlooking the Atlantic.

A special thanks goes to the long list of sponsors who are helping to make the convention possible. To see that lineup, find out more information, and to register, visit ffva.com/ffva2015.