November 19, 2003 | By: Aimee D. Heald

Farmers constantly are trying to find crops to supplement income or help offset declining tobacco profits. Many have turned to fruit and vegetable production and are slowly but surely finding their niche.

A joint conference of the Kentucky Horticultural Society, Kentucky Vegetable Growers Association and Kentucky Grape and Wine Short Course on Jan. 5 and 6, 2004, in Lexington will give growers a chance to share ideas and learn from experts in fruit and vegetable production.

“Success with fruit and vegetables is most always based on a producer’s management skills, especially being able to do things on time,” said John Strang, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture horticulture specialist. “This conference is for beginners and experienced growers alike. We think we have something to share with everyone, no matter how steep their learning curve.”

Concurrent sessions will be held throughout the two-day event at the Holiday Inn North covering many aspects of fruit and vegetable production including commercial tree fruit, greenhouses, vegetable production and farmers’ markets. Participants also will hear about tree fruit integrated pest management, cut stem production and value-added processing, cooperative marketing, organic farming and gardening, and small fruit production.

Fruit and vegetable specialists from across the United States will be speaking to joint conference sessions on the first day. Speakers include Randy Gardner, tomato breeder for Mountain Crops Research and Extension Center in North Carolina; Ed Hellman, Extension viticulturist at Texas A&M Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Lubbock, Texas; Vance Corum, Advance Marketing in Vancouver, Wash.; and Dave Lockwood, University of Tennessee Extension fruit specialist.

There will be an optional wine tasting of Kentucky wines before the Jan. 5 banquet, Strang said.

Registration is $25 and includes a one-year membership in the KVGA or KSHS and entry into the Grape and Wine Short Course. Membership in the KVGA also allows growers to use pesticides that have received 24c registrations for Kentucky. Advanced registration must be received by Dec. 19. Banquet and luncheon tickets are only available with advanced registration. 

For more information about the conference or to request registration materials, contact your local county Extension office or contact Mary Ann Kelley (270) 365-7541, ext. 216.


Writer: Aimee D. Heald 859-257-4736, ext. 267
Source: John Strang 859-257-5685