Cheers to Celebrating 75 Years of Florida Agriculture
Summer may be the off season for many — the only time of year where you can leave the fields and packinghouses behind for some fishing or beach time. But June and July at the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association (FFVA) means we’re busy putting the finishing touches on our annual convention Sept. 25-27 at The Ritz-Carlton in Naples.
We put a priority on providing outstanding opportunities to network with each other and our sponsors, offering robust content in our Issues Forums, and inviting dynamic keynote speakers and high-profile agricultural leaders to offer their perspectives.
This year, we’ve invited U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. And we’re pleased to feature internationally recognized multimedia artist, speaker, author, and innovator Phil Hansen as our Cracker Breakfast keynote speaker. In addition to his inspiring talk about overcoming limitations to find a path to creativity and success, Phil will have an extra surprise for attendees.
The three Issues Forums at FFVA 2018 reflect a year of challenges, and we’re bringing in informative speakers to share the latest information.
With workforce shortages a stark reality for many growers, attention is turning to ways agriculture can innovate and move toward mechanization. In “Fields of the Future: Putting Technology to Work,” you’ll learn more about how technology is shaping our industry as it changes to meet needs. Speakers will be Dennis Donahue, Director of Western Growers’ Center for Innovation and Technology, and Gary Wishnatzki of Wish Farms and co-founder of Harvest CROO Robotics.
We’ll be surveying the political landscape in “Election 2018: A Look Ahead for Agriculture.” As the November elections draw near, the agriculture community is watching key Congressional and statewide races, including governor and agriculture commissioner. We’ve invited a strong group of panelists to talk about the potential outcome and how it will affect agriculture. You won’t want to miss this informative discussion.
In addition, in the wake of the recent E. coli O157:H7 outbreak pegged to romaine lettuce from Yuma, AZ, Dr. Trevor Suslow, a well-known food safety researcher from the University of California, Davis, for “Anatomy of an Outbreak: What Have We Learned?” will discuss key takeaways from the incident.
And there’s so much more. Class 7 of our Emerging Leader Development Program will be graduating. FFVA will honor important individuals with our Legislator of the Year, Customer of the Year, and Researcher of the Year Awards. We’ll also announce the recipient of the 2018 Karen and Mike Stuart Humanitarian Award. Plus, there’s ample time for making important networking connections with your colleagues.
The silent auction will offer outstanding selections, including jewelry, travel packages, wine selections, sports items, and home décor. Proceeds will go to the Florida Specialty Crop Foundation, which funds FFVA’s Emerging Leader Development Program, important research, scholarships, and the Redlands Christian Migrant Association’s programs for farmworkers’ children.
Early registration pricing ends Sept. 3. You can find all of the details about the event, including sponsors, speakers, schedule, and hotel information at ffva.com/registration. Don’t forget to download FFVA’s app from the Apple Store or Google Play to have everything you need at your fingertips. As always, we offer a sincere “thank you” to all of our sponsors whose support makes this important event possible.