Farm Progress

The Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference returns to Savannah Jan. 7-10, 2016. 

Farm Press Staff

November 2, 2015

3 Min Read

The Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference returns to Savannah Jan. 7-10, 2016.  In 2015, the event hosted more than 3,100 produce industry members, marking the event’s fifteenth year of continued attendance growth. 

Hoping to meet the needs of all in attendance, the conference will add booth space to the trade show floor and increase the number of overall educational hours.

Sponsored by the GFVGA and the Georgia Peach Council the conference will be held at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.  The event features three days of educational workshops and seminars, a two day trade show and several other evening networking opportunities.

During the three-day educational program, more than 85 hours of commodity specific production training, pest management information and marketing updates are offered to attendees. Commodities include peach, vegetable, Vidalia onion, watermelon, muscadine, wine grapes, blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry.

New educational features will be offered at the 2016 event including a Savannah-area farm tour and more educational sessions on Saturday morning.  Beth Oleson, director of education for GFVGA, says these new sessions will enhance the attendees experience and add more value. “The produce industry continues to evolve, and that creates new educational needs for growers and businesses,” she said.  “Adding more hours to provide education within our program encourages people to stay longer and get more ‘bang for their buck’.”

The trade show floor will also expand for the 2016 event. In 2015, trade show coordinators added 50 booths to accommodate growing exhibitor numbers, while still keeping some space on the floor for dining space during lunch.  In 2016, dining space for lunch will completely move off of the floor to allow for more exhibiting companies. “Expanding the trade show floor is an exciting process,” said Charles Hall, GFVGA executive director, “It means our exhibitors are finding it worth their time, and our attendees are enjoying their networking experience on the floor.”

The 2016 Trade Show will offer a varied assembly of produce industry vendors and suppliers. Marked as one of the most valuable networking events in the year, the SE Regional trade show will provide attendees with the opportunity to compare products, talk with industry representatives, observe demonstrations, network with other growers and learn about the latest in fresh produce technology.

Other special events during the conference include an awards program on Saturday morning and an Industry Roundtable on Sunday to close the conference. The roundtable is an opportunity for growers and suppliers to discuss issues of mutual concern. This forum provides input for the 2016 Program of Work to be adopted by the GFVGA Board of Directors in February 2016.

There will also be a Friday night reception and live auction on the trade show floor, a Saturday night reception at the Westin Savannah Harbor and a silent auction held during the trade show.

For more information on hotels, educational sessions or to register for the 2016 SE Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference, visit www.seregionalconference.com or call 877-994-3842. Take advantage of early bird discounts by registering before Dec. 11.

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