December 9-11, Grand Rapids, Mich.

The 2008 Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO will be held at the DeVos Place Convention Center and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The EXPO is sponsored by Michigan State Horticultural Society and Michigan Vegetable Council in cooperation with Michigan State University Extension.

Highlights include …

  • Informative education program for fruit and vegetable growers and farm marketers—50 sessions over three days:
  • Fruit and vegetable commodities
  • Farm marketing ideas and issues
  • General topics of special interest to growers
  • Bus tour for farm marketers

Five of western Michigan’s top farm market and agritourism locations will be visited on the Farm Market Bus Tour. The tour will be held on Monday, December 8, the day before the EXPO opens, and will provide a great opportunity to network with other farm marketers, learn new marketing tips and see how operations set up to maximize holiday-season sales. While traveling on the bus between stops, there will be interactive discussions to share information and ideas with others on the tour. The cost of the tour is $149 per person. This includes transportation to the farm market stops, lunch and snacks.

  • Trade Show

The trade show, with more than 300 exhibitors, will cover 4 acres of exhibit space in one hall. There will be exhibits of seed companies; nurseries and packaging companies; chemical and fertilizer manufacturers and distributors; and insurance and investment companies. There will also be many private-label companies as well as entertainment exhibits. Many state and federal agencies exhibit, updating the attendees on topics relating to regulations, programs and changes that are occurring.

  • The North American Raspberry & Blackberry Association Conference

On Monday morning, NARBA is offering two 3-hour workshops. “Fundamentals of Raspberry & Blackberry Production” will be led by Marvin Pritts of Cornell and Eric Hanson, Michigan State University extension specialist. “High Tunnel Raspberries,” led by Kathy Demchak, Pennsylvania State University, will offer practical information for getting started. The afternoon will consist of educational sessions, followed by the NARBA annual meeting and a “Dutch Treat” dinner at a local restaurant. Tuesday will feature a full day of educational sessions. Speakers include Dr. John Clark, University of Arkansas blackberry breeder, and Dr. Jim Joseph, USDA-ARS/Tufts University, one of the leading researchers on the health benefits of berries.

Grower Spotlight sessions will include leading Michigan grower Fred Koenigshof, who has 60 acres of raspberries, which he takes to Chicago, wholesales, sells on the farm and sells to wineries. Other topics being planned include a panel discussion on trellising, training and pruning; reports on research on high tunnels and other NABG Research Foundation-funded projects; and sessions on disease and weed control, irrigation and post-harvest handling/packaging.

  • Fruit Irrigation Systems Workshop

An intensive two-day workshop on fruit irrigation systems will be offered in conjunction with EXPO. The workshop will focus on the design and use of micro irrigation systems (drip and micro sprinklers) for fruit plantings. Dr. Stuart Styles, widely recognized expert on the design and use of fruit irrigation systems, will conduct the workshop. He will be assisted by Dr. Ron Perry and Dr. Jim Flore from the Department of Horticulture at MSU. Dr. Styles is the director of the Irrigation Training and Research Center at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Workshop topics:

  • Water needs and crop response to irrigation in apples, cherries, peaches, blueberries, grapes, strawberries and brambles
  • Weather and moisture cycles, soils and soil water, scheduling plant/soil water needs
  • Impact of irrigation on cold hardiness
  • Drip and micro irrigation systems: Filtration requirements, dealing with undulating terrain and variable soil types in irrigation designs, irrigation scheduling
  • System maintenance and fertigation systems, frost protection and pest management
  • Evaluation of irrigation system performance
  • Computer evaluation programs (bring your laptop for some hands-on experience)
  • Irrigation equipment company representatives panel: New products and Q&A
  • Water use regulations in California and the Great Lakes

For more information on any part of this event, visit

Visit These Folks at the Show!

Company Name Booth Number

A&B Blueberry Packing Equip./BerryTek

Barwacz Farms 841, 908

BBC Technologies


B.E.I., Inc.


Bejo Seeds, Inc. 906
BioBest Biological Systems 1105
CropCare Equip. by PaulB LLC 912-913
C.S.I. Chemical Corp. 940
Dillman Farm 1148-1149
DuBois Agrinovation, Inc. 844

Growing magazine (Moose River Media)

Hartmann’s Plant Co. 342
Haygrove Tunnels/Cramer 407-408
Hillside Cultivator Co. 911
Hillside Orchard Farms 1243

John Deere Co.


Johnny’s Selected Seeds 803
Koppert Biological Systems 1009-1010
Krohne Plant Farms 443

Kubota Tractor


McDonnall Harvester & Parts/Pik Rite

Michigan Chief Sales, Inc. 934-936

Monte Package Co.


Natural Industries, Inc. 1111
Nevil/Bekaert Supply 441-442

Peach Ridge Orchard Supply


Phil Brown Welding Corp.


Putnam Plastics Farm Products 1049
Robert Marvel Plastic Mulch 1011
Rockford Package Supply, Inc. 849-900
Rupp Seeds, Inc. 642-644
Seedway, Inc. 907

Siegers Seed Co.


Stark Bro’s Nurseries &
Orchards Co.


Stokes Blueberry Farm &

Stokes Seeds, Inc. 403-404

Superb Horticulture


Syngenta Crop Protection 707-708

Tew Mfg.


Thomas Brothers Equip.
Sales. Inc.


Trickl-Eez Co. 848

Triple K Irrigation