The Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference, a high-quality education program and trade show held in Savannah, Ga., is currently making plans for the annual show to be held Jan. 11-13, 2008 at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.

The event, sponsored by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Georgia Peach Council and held in partnership with the USDA Risk Management Agency, offers informative workshops, classes and demonstrations designed to bring the most up-to-date and relevant information to the fruit and vegetable industry. More than 1,700 growers and industry representatives attended in 2007.

The conference, currently in its eighth year, offers some of the most informative educational sessions available for fruit and vegetable production. During the two-day program, more than 60 hours of commodity specific production training, pest management information and marketing updates are offered to attendees.

Commodities include peach, vegetable, Vidalia onion, watermelon, muscadine, blueberry, strawberry and pecan.

In addition to the commodity production sessions, special Good Agricultural (GAP) Food Safety, Organic Production and Roadside Markets sessions will be held. Continuing education credits are available.

Other special events are planned for the conference as well. A general labor forum will be held during the Friday morning session. This interactive meeting will offer the latest information from labor experts on topics such as immigration, mismatch Social Security letters and the H2A guest worker program.

Several members of the U.S. Congress have been invited to speak at a general session to be held on Saturday morning, giving attendees the opportunity to hear the latest updates on Atlanta and Washington legislation. On Sunday, an Industry Roundtable is planned for both growers and suppliers to discuss issues of mutual concern. This forum provides input for the 2008 Program of Work to be adopted by the GFVGA Board of Directors in February 2008.

The 2008 Trade Show, held in conjunction with the education sessions, offers an exciting assembly of vendors and suppliers to the fruit and vegetable industry. With more than 150 companies already committed to the conference, the 2008 Trade Show will provide attendees the opportunity to compare products, talk with industry representatives, observe demonstrations, network with other growers and learn about the latest in fresh produce technology.

Other events during the conference include a Friday night reception and live auction on the trade show floor, a Saturday night reception and raffle drawing at the Westin Savannah Harbor and a silent auction held during the trade show. A spouse program, featuring Bingo led by The Artist Mark Ballard, is available on Saturday.

For more information contact Charles Hall, Executive Director, Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers association, PO Box 2945, LaGrange, Ga. 30241-2945, phone 800-453-3070, or fax 706-883-8215 and e-mail chall@asginfo.net.