Great Plains Grower Conference To Be Held In January

The Great Plains Growers Conference will be held on Jan.12-14, 2017 at the Fulkerson Conference Center on the Missouri Western State University campus in St. Joseph, MI.

The conference and trade show is a collaborative effort by University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University, Iowa State University Extension, Kansas State Research and Extension, and the University of Nebraska Extension. Last year the conference drew more than 500 producers and exhibitors from 22 states.

On Thursday Jan. 12, the conference kicks off with six day-long workshops, including greenhouse and hydroponic production, soil health, tree fruit production, honeybees, Food Safety Modernization Act grower training, and mushroom production.

Concurrent sessions on Friday and Saturday Jan. 13 and Jan. 14 provide a total of more than 60 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, beginning and advance organic production, season extension, farm mechanization, selling local foods, farm to school, and a research update.

Friday, Jan. 13 also features keynote speaker Jean-Martin Fortier, author of “The Market Gardener: A Successful Growers Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming”, whose 10-acre micro-farm in Quebec, Canada, grosses more than $100,000 per acre each year. His farming strategy emphasizes intelligent farm design, appropriate technologies, and harnessing the power of soil biology to optimize production, making the farm more lucrative and viable each year.

Registration, which includes meals and breaks, for the Thursday workshops is $55 per person and $45/day per person for Friday and Saturday sessions. Student registration is $25/day with valid student identification.

A full program, registration information and updated details of the conference can be found at the conference website and for more information about the program and a registration form, contact Buchanan County Extension at [email protected] or phone (816) 279-1691.

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