Specialty crop growers are making plans now to attend the Indiana Horticultural Congress, scheduled for Jan. 21-23, at the Wyndham Indianapolis West hotel.
The meeting is an educational event designed to meet the needs of fruit, vegetable, wine, organics and specialty crop growers and marketers in Indiana and surrounding states. Educational sessions will help growers improve production practices, pest and disease control, processing, marketing, agritourism plans, food safety and legislative/regulatory concerns.
An on-site trade show will feature seed, agricultural equipment and plant protection material vendors.
Jeremy Weaver, Shelby County Indiana farmer, says he will be attending for the sixth year in a row. "It is an opportunity to learn about practices that other farmers have implemented that work for them and could possibly work in my operation," he says.
"One of the biggest advantages is getting to speak with vegetable seed company reps. It is one of my only opportunities to speak to them face to face, as most vegetable seed companies simply send out catalogs and don't do farm visits," he adds.
For the fifth year in a row they will hold the Indiana Wine Grape Reception in the Hall of Champions on the first night of the Congress. Last year, attendees were treated to tastings of more than 50 wines from approximately 14 Indiana wineries.
"This is the chance to bring our industry together and provide the latest enology, viticulture and marketing information for our wineries. Hort Congress also allows potential wineries and vineyard growers to attend and get the base knowledge to go home and determine the next steps for their operation," says Jeanette Merritt, marketing director for Indiana Wines and the Purdue Wine Grape Team.
There will also be a Private Applicator Recertification Program offered for those who currently have Private Applicator's permits and need recertification.
For more information, visit www.inhortcongress.org.