The Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference will be held January 9-11, 2013, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield, Ill. The conference, which features more than 100 speakers and 50 trade show exhibitors, will again host four concurrent preconference workshops, general sessions and breakout sessions aimed at helping Illinois specialty growers cultivate their operations.
Wednesday, January 9, participants may attend one of four preconference workshops, including Cover Crops, High Tunnels, Basics of Orchard Establishment/Tree Fruit Production, and Sweet Corn.
The conference opens Thursday, January 10, with a general session highlighting the Illinois specialty crops industry and its partners and addressing what happens in a produce recall, with a case study on the Indiana melon recall.
Participants are invited to attend breakout sessions Thursday, January 10, and Friday, January 11, featuring agritourism, fruits, vegetables, herbs, organic foods, and emerging issues and opportunities.
Following Thursday's breakout sessions, the annual banquet will include a keynote speech titled, "A Family and a Farm" by Holly Spangler, farm wife and associate editor at Prairie Farmer Magazine. The 24th Annual Apple Cider Contest and 11th Annual Hard Cider Contest will again be held in conjunction with the conference, with winners announced during Thursday evening's festivities.
To receive registration materials or to obtain exhibitor information, please contact Diane Handley at 309-557-2107 or firstname.lastname@example.org
. A detailed conference agenda and cider contest details can be viewed at www.specialtygrowers.org