Fruit and vegetable growers from across the country and Canada will gather at the Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market Expo next month. The conference will feature more than 70 educational sessions and workshops and will offer the thousands of attendees a showcase area that will highlight more than 450 industry exhibitors.

This year’s education sessions will include several farm marketing topics that include the basics about agritourism, customer service, social media and business management. Presentations will be made by researchers and Extension educators from Michigan State University, other Land Grant universities and industry, including speakers from Canada and the Netherlands. There will also be presentations by farm marketers and several grower panels. Many of the education sessions will offer credits for Michigan and Ohio Private and Commercial Pesticide Applicators and Certified Crop Advisors.

The expo’s keynote speaker is Kevin Folta, Chair of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. He will speak on “The Future of Genetic Improvement in Horticultural Crops.”

A farm market bus tour will be held before the conference, Monday, Dec. 5. The ninth annual Farm Market Bus Tour will visit six top farm market and agritourism locations in west Michigan.

The tour is sponsored by Fruit Growers News and Vegetable Growers News. The expo’s trade show is one of the largest shows for fruit and vegetable growers, greenhouse growers and farm marketers in North America. Last year, a record 456 companies and organizations exhibited products and services in the trade show. This year’s show is expected to be even bigger. A new exhibit area was added last year. This year it will have added exhibits, featuring farm market vendors, other product vendors and information booths.

For additional information or help, contact Sharri German, the Trade Show Manager by email or phone at 616-794-0492.

Show Times

  • Tuesday: 8 a.m – 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 8 a.m – 5 p.m.
  • Thursday: 8 a.m – 1 p.m.