Nov 19, 2023
Conference focuses on Kentucky specialty crops

Registration for the Kentucky Fruit & Vegetable Conference is open.

The event is Jan. 3-4, in Bowling Green, Kentucky, with pre-conference events the day before. The full conference program and registration information are available on the conference webpage.


The annual Kentucky Fruit & Vegetable Conference is for Kentucky produce and specialty crop growers to interact and gain valuable production and marketing training. The Kentucky State Horticultural Society (KSHS), Kentucky Vegetable Growers Association (KVGA), Organic Association of Kentucky (OAK) and Kentucky Horticulture Council (KHC), in cooperation with University of Kentucky Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment (UK), Kentucky State University College of Agriculture, Communities and the Environment (KSU) and Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) have planned a program with more than 90 speakers on general interest and specialized production topics. The trade show will have more than 60 exhibitors for attendees to visit about products and services.

“We are excited to again partner to bring this educational event to Kentucky specialty crop growers,” Cindy Finneseth, KHC executive director, said in a news release. “With such a diversity of educational tracks, there are sessions for all growers to learn new techniques and production practices that will help increase profitability.”

The conference will include a general session and sessions on vegetable production (beginner and advanced), high tunnels, organic production, fruit production (beginner and advanced) and business management. A cut flower short course will be offered in addition to a new session on funding opportunities for specialty crop growers. Other conference events include a Farmers Market Short Course organized by KDA and a Farm Food Safety Plan Writing Workshop hosted by Cultivate KY as well as the popular fruit grower and vegetable grower meet up sessions.

“A great deal of thought and planning always goes into planning the different sessions,” Rachel Rudolph, UK Extension vegetable specialist, said in the release. “I think we have an especially good mix of speakers this year with several grower panels, Extension specialists, graduate students and experts from several state organizations.

Kentucky specialty crop growers will be presenting as well as Kentucky Extension specialists and  out-of-state speakers, including Cody Adkins from the USDA Risk Management Agency; Megan Bruch Leffew from the University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture; Wenjing Guan, associate professor at Purdue University; and Dave Lockwood, Extension fruit specialist at the University of Tennessee.

Pre-registration is available online through Eventbrite or by mailing in the meeting registration form by Dec. 15. After that, registration will continue online or on-site. We will again be returning to the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green. A limited number of sponsorships are still available. For sponsorship or registration questions, call 859-490-0889 or email [email protected].


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