By Lina Rodriguez Salamanca–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
AMES, Iowa – The Great Plains Growers Conference is an educational opportunity for commercial fruit, vegetable, cut flower, and honey bee producers from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and other Midwest states.
Participants have access to research-based information, from both vegetable research specialists and local growers, to help their farms grow and thrive.
Due to anticipated ongoing COVID-19 issues, the 2021 conference will be held virtually. Growers can participate on their computers from the comfort of home. Concurrent sessions on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 12-13, provide more than 35 presentations offering information for new and experienced growers.
Sessions will include:
- Marketing in the new normalcy.
- Tree fruits.
- Small fruits.
- Vegetable production.
- Vegetable integrated pest management.
- Controlled environment production (greenhouse, high tunnels, and hydroponics/aquaponics).
- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Farmer Forum.
Friday’s keynote is “Farming: Challenges and Pivots to Success,” with Liz Graznak, farmer and owner of Happy Hollow Farm in Jamestown, Missouri. Learn how Graznak’s farm responded and thrived when faced with challenges over the last 10 years of growing certified organic produce on her nearly seven-acre farm.
She grows vegetables, fruits, eggs, and flowers for a 72-member CSA 32 weeks a year, and for farmers markets and local Columbia restaurants.
Saturday’s keynote is “Moving Forward, and Where to Go from Here,” with Vaughn Hammond, agriculture and orchard manager at Valla’s Pumpkin Patch & Apple Orchard in Gretna, Nebraska.
Hammond will talk about ways growers can be nimble and seek success during challenging times.
Trade show exhibitors will be available online, each during an assigned time slot, to show and discuss current product offerings, including the latest seeds, supplies, equipment, and grower information.
A full program, registration information, and more information can be found on the Great Plains Growers Conference website. More information is also available by contacting the Buchanan County extension office in Missouri, at [email protected] or 816-279-1691.
Per-person registration covers participation both days. Registrations will be accepted at the regular rate throughout the conference. Online and credit card registrations are accepted through EventBrite, and additional processing fees apply.
- Regular registration is $60.00.
- Regular student registration is $40.00.
The conference and trade show are a collaborative effort by University of Missouri Extension, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension and Research, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Kansas State University Research and Extension, and Nebraska Extension, with North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education as a conference partner.