Tuesday, December 18, 2012

17th annual Great Plains Growers Conference Set for Jan. 10-12

One of the premier conferences for fruit and vegetable growers will be held Jan. 10-12 in St. Joseph, according to Tim Baker, horticulture specialist for University of Missouri Extension at Gallatin.

Extension educators from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota are organizing the 17th Annual Great Plains Growers Conference.

The conference is open to everyone from backyard gardeners to commercial produce growers. Topics will include vegetables, tree fruits, small fruits and flowers. There are also presentations targeted toward organic growers.

The 2013 conference will include a record number of workshops to choose from, covering topics such as high tunnels, soils and irrigation, fruits, honeybees, introduction to vegetable production (in Spanish), and farm-to-school marketing.

Raymond Heldenbrand, a Daviess County beekeeper, will teach an introductory beekeeping class on Friday.

A Thursday workshop on beekeeping will bring in several researchers and beekeepers, including a retired state apiary inspector, a USDA bee research station expert and an entomologist who will speak on colony collapse disorder.

Jeff Lowenfels, an international proponent of organic farming and gardening and author of “Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web,” will give the keynote address on “Why Don’t the Redwoods Ever Need Fertilizing?”

The conference will be held on the campus of Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph. For registration and program information, call the Buchanan County MU Extension Center at 816-279-1691 or go to www.greatplainsgrowers.org.
(by Linda Geist, MU Senior Information Specialist)

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