Pre-Conference Events

point The ninth pre-conference FARM MARKET BUS TOUR will be held the day before the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable & Farm Market EXPO opens. Last year’s tour filled three buses and attracted 137 farm marketers from 20 states and two Canadian provinces. In 2016, attendees will visit six top farm market and agritourism locations in west Michigan. The tour stops are all different from past tours. The tour is sponsored by Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News in cooperation with the Michigan Agritourism Association.

The Farm Market Bus Tour is a great opportunity to network with other farm marketers, while learning how some innovative farmers get their products onto the tables of consumers using creative and unique marketing strategies. There will be interactive discussions while traveling on the buses to share information, which will be moderated by Michigan State University Extension educators.

The cost of the tour is $155 per person. This includes lunch and snacks. If you register after November 12, the cost is $179 and subject to availability. Registration is limited. Register by using the form on the back cover or go online to register at GLEXPO.com.

CLICK HERE to view a video about the bus tour.

CLICK HERE for more information on the tour, including descriptions of each of the host farm markets that will be visited. Call Jennifer Dickie at 734-677-0503 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have questions or need additional information about the tour. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to see and learn about new possibilities for your market.

point NORTH AMERICAN BERRY CONFERENCE This year, growers can take advantage of a berry special opportunity as the North American Strawberry Growers Association (NASGA) and the North American Raspberry and Blackberry Association (NARBA) come together to hold the North American Berry Conference in association with the Great Lakes EXPO. An opening reception on Sunday will be followed by joint and concurrent caneberry and strawberry educational sessions on Monday at the Amway Grand Plaza.

The registration fee for the conference is $75/member and $125/non-members if registered before Nov. 16, $90/member and $145/non-members if after Nov. 16 which includes lunch. Pre-registration through the Great Lakes EXPO is encouraged. It is possible to register at the door, but lunch is not guaranteed for those that do not pre-register. It is not necessary to register for the Great Lakes EXPO to attend the North American Berry Conference

CLICK HERE to see a summary of the berry conference

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4: OPENING RECEPTION (7 P.M. - 9 P.M.)

MONDAY, DECEMBER 5: CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST & GENERAL SESSIONS (7:30 A.M. - 10:30 A.M.)

SESSION 1 (10:45 A.M. – NOON)
Caneberry

| Exclusion Netting and Harvest Frequency for SWD Management
| Sustainable Options for Disease Management in Caneberries

Strawberry
| Biofungicides and Organic Options for Disease Control in Strawberries
| Tackling Tough Weeds in Strawberries 

Mostly Tunnels
| Choosing Tunnel Plastics to Meet Your Needs
| Potential Effects of Tunnel Plastics on Pesticides and Pest Management
| Approaches for Blackberry Production in High Tunnels

LUNCH, ANNUAL MEETINGS, BREAK (NOON- 2 P.M.)

SESSION 2 (2 P.M. – 3:30)
Caneberry

| The Expansion of Primocane-Fruiting Blackberry Production – From Idea to Reality 
| Wholesale Production: What are Caneberry Shipper/Marketers Looking for? - Panel Discussion

Strawberry
| Managing Spotted Wing Drosophila in Strawberries – What Works - Rufus Isaacs
| Sprayer Technology
| Strawberry Varieties - Grower Panel

Mostly Tunnels
| Grower Experiences with High Tunnels

SESSION 3 (3:45 P.M. – 5 P.M.)
Caneberry

| Intensive Trellising Improved our Bottom Line
| Getting Two crops from your Raspberries: Does it Make Economic Sense?

Strawberry
| What Facebook has Done for our Farm 
| Technology/Smart Phone Apps: Growers Share What Works for Them Mostly

Tunnels
| Using High Tunnels for Organic Raspberry Production in Humid Regions
| Organic Berry Production: Grower Panel

DINNER ON YOUR OWN (6 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.)

EVENING ROUNDTABLE ON PRODUCTION ISSUES – BOB TRITTEN MODERATOR (7:30 P.M. – 8:30 P.M.)

BERRY CONFERENCE HOSPITALITY ROOM (8 P.M. – 11P.M.)

Note: On Tuesday the Berry Conference continues with full tracks of strawberry and caneberry educational sessions within the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO itself. Two limited-registration workshops, “Getting Started in Raspberry & Blackberry Production” and “Create a Food Safety Plan for Your Farm – right here and now” will also be offered.

Learn more about these two berry organizations at www.nasga.org and www.raspberryblackberry.com.