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Connect with our team at winter conferences

Our team will be attending many grower conferences this winter. We love to connect with growers at these events and hear about your ideas, successes, challenges, and questions. If you’re planning to attend any of these events, please feel free to say hello! This article is a list of some of the places you can find us this winter, and presentations we’ll be giving at various conferences.

Minnesota Apple Growers Association Winter Conference, LaCrescent, January 4-5

All apple orchard owners and managers are encouraged to attend the Minnesota Apple Growers Association Winter Conference. Annie will be attending and giving two presentations at this conference. Educational sessions will cover a variety of topics from orchard labor management to pest management. The agenda includes many discussions led by experienced apple growers.
  • Tips for Managing Newer UMN Apple Varieties
  • Basics of Apple Chemical Thinning

Minnesota Organic Conference, St. Cloud, January 5-6

While the Minnesota Organic Conference is not specific to fruit and vegetable crops, there are workshops about specialty crops during most of the breakout sessions. There will be one session from Mary Rogers, an Extension horticulture specialist:
  • Growing Organic Strawberries in Minnesota - Mary Rogers & Gigi DiGiacomo

Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference, St. Cloud, January 18-20

All of our team members will be at the Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference this year. Come to one of our many sessions, or catch up with us at the Extension booth in the tradeshow. This conference is a great place to hear about a lot of different research projects happening with fruit and vegetable crops in Minnesota.
  • Strawberry Production for the Beginning Grower, Matthew Gullickson and Annie Klodd
  • Growing Broccoli in a Changing Climate: Managing Disease, Heat, and Insects, Natalie Hoidal
  • Navigating Food Safety and Updates to FSMA, Annalisa Hultberg and Alex Cortes
  • Invasive insect update: spotted wing drosophila and new pests, Marissa Schuh
  • Beginning Apple Production, Annie Klodd
  • Plus many more speakers from University of Minnesota researchers

Organic Vegetable Production Conference, Madison WI, January 26-27 online, February 3-4 in person

Natalie and Marissa will be at the conference in Madison this year. This conference is a bit less focused on research and more focused on grower experience - it’s a great conference to attend for folks who like to learn about the nitty gritty details of growing different crops from successful growers. This year the crops being highlighted are cucumbers, tomatoes, melons, carrots, and cabbage, in addition to more general sessions about high tunnels, no-till, cover crops, etc.
  • Climate Change: Predicting Impacts and Making Plans, Natalie Hoidal and Jody Lenz
  • Round table on preparing for climate change, facilitated by Natalie Hoidal

Sustainable Farming Association Annual Conference, St. Joseph, February 11

The Sustainable Farming Association’s annual conference includes networking opportunities with growers from around the state, and a wide range of topics about sustainable farming. Annie and Natalie will be attending this conference, and helped to plan the fruit and vegetable track. Sessions for this track will include:
  • Record Keeping & Specialty Crop Cost of Production, Erik Heimark & Dan Zimmerli
  • Soil Health Session: Cover crops and reduced tillage in vegetable production, Julie Grossman & Jimmy Bauman
  • Opportunities & Challenges of Perennial Fruit, John Knisley, Kerri Meyer, and Erin Trieber
  • Climate change projections and resilience planning, Natalie Hoidal & farmer co-presenter (TBD)

Marbleseed annual conference, La Crosse WI, February 23-25 (formerly known as MOSES)

The Marbleseed conference is considered the first and largest organic farming conference in the country. It is not fruit and vegetable specific, but includes a range of sessions relevant to specialty crop growers. The conference also hosts Organic University, which are pre-conference options for in-depth training on topics.
  • An abundance of broccoli(ni) trials: 2022 results from across the upper Midwest, Natalie Hoidal, Kristine Lang, and Anna Racer
  • FSMA Updates from the Field: Decomplicating Food Safety to Protect Your Farm and Customers, Annalisa Hultberg and farmer co-presenter Becca Carlson

Minnesota Grape Growers Association’s Cold Climate Conference, Chaska, February 24-25

The MGGA is planning their conference for February 24-25 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Plans so far include a full day of educational sessions and group discussions, followed by a winery tour at Sovereign Estate Winery. There may be a pruning workshop, depending on availability of unpruned grapevines at that time in the season. Watch the MGGA website for registration to open.
  • Grape pruning workshop (tentative) - Annie Klodd

Great Lakes Indigenous Farming Conference, Cohasset (White Earth Nation), March 9-11

We will not be presenting at the Great Lakes Indigenous Farming Conference, but a few members of our team will be attending to learn and connect with growers.

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