In December 2001, the Michigan State Horticultural Society and the Michigan Vegetable Council combined their annual conventions, initiating the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO. The new EXPO immediately became one of the largest annual gatherings of fruit and vegetable growers and farm marketers in North America.
Since 2009, the Michigan Greenhouse Growers EXPO has been held concurrently with the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO. This expanded the overall program to include education sessions and trade show exhibitors for greenhouse growers. This conference, which had previously been held separately, is sponsored by the Metropolitan Detroit Flower Growers Association and the Western Michigan Greenhouse Association. One registration fee covers both conferences.
The most recent combined EXPO attracted more than 4,000 attendees from 42 states and eight Canadian provinces! The trade show covered four acres of exhibit space with 450 exhibitors. The education program offered more than 70 sessions and workshops over three days. Michigan State University Extension plans the education program in cooperation with the sponsoring organizations.
The Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO and the Michigan Greenhouse Growers EXPO are held each December in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The 2016 EXPO dates are Tuesday, December 6 through Thursday, December 8.