Sep 29, 2011
Special events scheduled for Great Lakes EXPO

The 2011 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO includes many special events. Here are some of them.

Midwest Pickle Association, Pickle & Pepper Research Committee (members only)
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Gallery Overlook Room G-H, DeVos Place Convention Center (upper level)
Members of the Midwest Pickle Association are invited to attend this special reporting and business program. The program schedule will be as follows: Cucumber research reporting session and working lunch (11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.); brine cutting demonstration (2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.); Pickle & Pepper Research Committee meeting (3:30 p.m.-4:15 p.m.); MWPA business meeting (4:15 p.m.-5 p.m.).

Grape Industries Luncheon
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Gerald R. Ford Ballroom, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
This luncheon program is co-sponsored by the Michigan Grape and Wine Council and National Grape Cooperative for the purpose of discussing topics of importance to the juice and wine sectors of the Michigan grape industry. The guest speaker for the luncheon will be Jerry Baron, executive director of IR-4 Project from Princeton, N.J. He will discuss how the IR-4 Project assists growers and food processors by facilitating the registration of agricultural chemicals and biopesticides on grapes and other specialty crops.
Tickets are $18. Advance purchase through pre-registration is recommended. A limited number of tickets will be available at registration on Tuesday morning.

Industry Luncheon
Tuesday, Dec. 6, Noon-1:30 p.m.
Pantlind Ballroom, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
This event brings together grower leaders and others with an interest in current issues important to agriculture. U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (invited) will be the featured speaker at this year’s luncheon. Stabenow chairs the Senate’s Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and will have an important leadership role in crafting the next Farm Bill. She understands the issues important to agriculture, particularly specialty crops.
Tickets are $25 and are available through pre-registration only.

MSHS Annual Meeting
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 4:15 p.m.
Grand Gallery Room C, DeVos Place Convention Center
The annual meeting of the Michigan State Horticultural Society will include director elections and reports on activities. All members are welcome to attend.

Meet the Buyers Reception
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 4:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.
Imperial Ballroom, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
Fruit and vegetable growers will have an opportunity to connect with potential new markets at this event. The reception provides an opportunity for growers to meet with retail and wholesale buyers. This event is hosted by Michigan Food and Farming Systems, the MSU Product Center and the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Last year’s event brought together more than 300 farmers and 15 buying institutions.

Michigan Farm Marketing & Agri-Tourism Association Gathering
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 5 p.m.-6 p.m.
Gallery Overlook Room E-F, DeVos Place Convention Center (upper level)
Held just prior to the popular Farm Marketing Roundtable, this gathering is for all Michigan farm market and agritourism operators who wish to learn more about the Michigan Farm Marketing & Agri-Tourism Association. This will be an enjoyable social time and an opportunity for informal discussion about the work of this organization. The association will hold a brief annual meeting during the gathering.

Michigan Apple Queen Pageant
Tuesday, Dec. 6, 8 p.m.
Ballroom B, DeVos Place Convention Center
Reigning Michigan Apple Queen Alyson Wendzel from Watervliet will crown the 2012 Michigan Apple Queen at the conclusion of this event. The pageant is sponsored by the Michigan Apple Committee. No ticket is required to attend.

Prayer Breakfast
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 7 a.m.
Pantlind Ballroom, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
This event provides a time for Christian fellowship and an opportunity to pray for our industry and country. Pastor Doug Cuthbert of Sister Lakes Community Church will provide the message at this year’s Prayer Breakfast.
Tickets are $15 and should be purchased through pre-registration or on Tuesday at registration.

MVC Annual Meeting
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 11:15 a.m.
Grand Gallery C, DeVos Place Convention Center
The annual meeting of the Michigan Vegetable Council will include director elections and reports on activities. All members are welcome to attend.

Michigan Apple Growers Luncheon
Wednesday, Dec. 7, Noon-1:30 p.m.
Ballroom B, DeVos Place Convention Center
This is a free luncheon program open to all Michigan apple growers. This event is co-sponsored by the Michigan Apple Committee and a number of industry sponsors. A featured speaker will address an issue of importance to apple growers. The program will also include updates from the Michigan Apple Committee and U.S. Apple Association.

EXPO Banquet
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m.
Ballroom B, DeVos Place Convention Center
Internationally renowned marketing expert John Stanley will be the featured speaker at this year’s banquet. He will also be making presentations in the farm marketing and greenhouse education sessions during the EXPO. He travels extensively from his home in Australia to educate and entertain audiences around the world about economic and consumer trends that impact farm and retail businesses.
The banquet program will include recognition of people who have made outstanding contributions to Michigan’s fruit and vegetable industries. In addition, industry scholarship recipients will be recognized and the winner of this year’s cider contest will be announced.
Tickets are $35 and advance purchase through pre-registration is recommended. A limited number of tickets will be available at registration until noon on Wednesday.

Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance Meet and Greet
Thursday, Dec. 8, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Gallery Overlook Room B, DeVos Place Convention Center (upper level)
This gathering is sponsored by the Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance (MOFFA) and is for farmers and others interested in organic farming. This will be an opportunity to meet MOFFA members and others interested in organic farming and organic food. You will learn what MOFFA has to offer and about its membership opportunities, as well as tasting some of Michigan’s organic foods.

For more information, please go to the Great Lakes EXPO website.





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